About Gundiyali

Gundiyali is a village in Mandvi Taluka in Kutch district of Gujarat State, India. It is located 60 KM towards South from district head quarters Bhuj, 6 KM from rural Mandvi and is located close to the Arabian Sea. Mandvi was once a major port of the region and has a 400 year old ship building industry, which was practiced by the Kharva community that still builds small wooden ships. The proximity of Gundiyali to the shore and a major trade route enabled export of the clay products in earlier times. They use the basic tool, a chakda(wheel) and the skill of their hands to create various products from smaller scale like toys to larger ones like pots. The Jain community of Gujarat is seen as the potential clientele by the craftsmen of this region.


About craftspeople of Gundiyali

There are about 72 Muslim potter families in all, of which 25 families are engaged in the craft at presently in the town of Gundiyali. Every artisan in the family practices the craft independently. The potters in Gundiyali belong to the Brar Muslim community and are believed to be direct descendents of Mohammad Paigamber’s foster mother who have migrated from Arab countries to Sindh and further to Kutch. The Kumbhar community moulds local clay into countless forms of decorative earthenware. They craft a wide variety of vessels such as matka for water storage, ketli to hold tea, and kulada to keep buttermilk. The variety of pottery and ornamental design is as diverse as the numerous communities around the villages. Kumbhar women use red, black, and white clay paints to decorate each piece of pottery with distinct community-specific designs. Animal figurines in terracotta are ritualistically offered to gods and warriors and the same clay yields toys for toddlers.


Craft Process

Raw material for making

Clay: Coarse clay is procured from Modhwa Rann, which is 5-7 km away from the village. The clay is made finer by grinding and then sieving it. The mud is mixed in water and allowed to rest for 2-3 days and it becomes soft enough to be given any desired shape.

Raw material used for finishing

Gheru (red colour), black clay and white stone are used along with water to paint and make patterns using brushes made from branch of date trees.

Raw material used for firing

Thorns, twigs, plywood waste, cardboard waste and wood are all fired for the kiln, glass wool is sometimes used over broken pots or products to cover the kiln to prevent the loss of heat from the kiln. The raw materials are available in nearby areas and are transported to the village through local transportation modes.

Tools and Equipments

Potter’s wheel (Chakda)

Electric wheel / Hand operated wheel and stick String used to separate the product from the clay lump on wheel
Metal strips used to finish products when on wheel


It is long plastic stick with a rotating wheel which has grooves on it to create lined patterns)- To make designs while product is on wheel
‘Tappan’ – Beating devices
‘farai’ – stone tools are used to give support from inside while making the pots with hand

The tools and equipments used for decoration of the clayware

Carving tools

The tools and equipments used for painting

Brushes made from branches of date trees
Cloth used to create lusture on the product


Activities Carried out with the Craftspeople