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The culture can be explained in terms process that gradually shapes the life of the man, in the land, we lives. This includes his social inheritance; the artifacts and skills he develops; the habits he forms and the thoughts and values he imbibes.

Here is an attempt to know and comprehend, the unique cultural heritage of a small territory of Kutch located at the North West part of India.

The "Bhagwat go-mandal" has listed 31 meanings of the word Kutch, such as, "the land with abundant water", "the Sea-Shore" etc., "Amarkosh" has termed it as "Anup", the place with water, everywhere. There is a mention of the uniqueness of Kutch in Panini's ‚€“ Asthdhyaya. The stone inseription at Girnar records that Kutch was under the rule of Rudradama, Mahakshatrap.

Kutch has no perennial river. It is not known as to when the river Saraswati, which was over following through this land, dried up in the Rann of Kutch. One of the branches of the river Sindhu too, lost its track here, before Centuries.

Prof. Rush brook Williams, in this book, "Black Hills ‚€“ Kutch in history and legends", has observed that some time in the eleventh Century, the main body of the Indus (Sindhu) water, began to move from the eastern to the western branch, the fresh water lagoon dried up and salt water began to seep in to its . This was no doubt the result of the seismic disturbance‚€¶.. The Rann became a Saline marshy plain, hooded diving the monsoon months, and at all times of the year, difficult, and often dangerous to Eros".

The human habitation on this land is of very old times. The fossils found here, near the river-beds and along the Sea Shore; so also the archival ruins of the them times are the evidence, supporting this view.

The sculptures and the architecture of the medieval period, the Shiva, the Sun and the join temples reveal the prosperity of the purpose of this land, then.

As there are no thick forests in this area, the rains are inadequate and irregular. And the rain water that fall from the top of the Steep hills, swiftly. How in to the Sea. To top it all, the only life line for Kutch was the western branch of Sindhu River. The earth quake of 1819 A.D. changed the course of this river Sirignt to the Arabian Sea, leaving the area dry and barren forever.

It is default to define the culture of Kutch in a few words, Kutch has its own identify. The man on this land has had to Struggles all along, for his survival due to the hostile nature. The man here had to more from one village to the often village or province, the state and even beyond the boundaries of the country, in search of livelihood.

Where are more Kutchees who have settled outside Kutch. But those who have migrated from Kutch, have maintained their identify as Kutchees. Wherever they have gone. So to say the culture of the people of "Kutch is for stronger than those of the others areas.

The question may arise as to what is there in this land that has made a Kutchee person so unique? The answer is that it is the cultural heritage gifted to him by the Rann and Sea. The shape of this land is like a tortoise. The land of Kutch has the Rann of Kutch on the side and the Arabian Sea on the other side. The Sea has groomed him to be generous and enterprising. The Rann has taught to him to Sustain against all the odds of life.

Moreover, Kutch is a junction of many cultures. Different people from many pans of the world here come here. Some among them got so much attached to this land that got settled here.

The hesple of this land are groomed to be sturdy and adventurous. They develop feelings for their fellow beings, sharing both, the pressures and the pains.

The Rann of Kutch is not like a desert with sand dunes. The waters of the Arabian Sea which enters the Kori creek, has made this land, marshy. Its solitude ‚€¶‚€¶‚€¶‚€¶‚€¶‚€¶‚€¶‚€¶‚€¶ has benn absolved with the like of the people of the Grassy land of Banni. The people, here, have adapted themselves to the living conditions of Rann. They have been deprived of the colours of the nature. The women of this land have therefore embroidered, their own imagination, the colours which are for richer than those of the nature. In their efforts to compensate the absence of the natural colours, they have expressed their imagination through the touch of their finger toes, on the cloth. This is the reason why the embroidery work of the women of this land is well known, the work over.

The land of Kutch has its own unique and veritable cultural heritage of music and art; language and literature, the traditions and customs.

The history of Kutch has witnessed much turmoil on this land. The geologists say that the land of Kutch was submerged in to the Sea in entire times. But due to the upheavals deep down the earth, this part of the land emerged. The word Kutch (Kachchap) means the tortoise in Sanskrit. Formerly when the Gulf of Kutch was an island, kutch has also known as Anup. A Greek traveler has recorded the term Abir for this land. They seem to be insignificant on the world map. It was all along an isolated place, due to its physical position. But it had maritime commercial links with many countries across the wored. Kutch is flanked by Sindh (now in Pakistan) on its north and north-west side. Rajasthan is on its north-east side. Banaskantha and Mehsana are in the east. Surendra nagar is in South cast and Rajkot in the South West. The Arabian Sea is in the West.

Kutch is the land of variety and diversity. It has its unique identity and characteristics. Its dynamics cannot just be known or understood simply by statistics, maps or other information formats. It has no means to measure the grace of its black hills. The dignity of this land is immersed with that of the Kutchiyat of the people of this land. And hence one has to travel through this land. It is in this context that this Museum has been set-up to enable the visitors to have a glimpse of the cultural heritage of Kutch at one place.

This museum has put up the diaoramas to portray the folk culture of Kutch. The people have been shown in their traditional attire and environment.

The embroidery work by the ladies of some communities of Kutch reflects their cultural identities. Some samples of such work are on display at this Museum.

Shipping of the Kutchee Sea farers is well-known. The famous Kutchee Ships are introduced have through their models.

The folk musical instruments and their artists, who are the messengers of the folk-culture of Kachchh, are also shown in a separate stall here in this museum. The medicinal plants and other varieties of plants in Kachchh have also been shown. The details of the trild animals bird life that move around in the some sanctunies of Kachchh and the native as well as migratory birds, has also been given in this museum. The visitors of the museum can Rann and overview of the face lift of Kachchh following the devastating earthquake of 2001 in Kachchh.

The presentation of the life style, art and craft of the sturdy people of the mighty land of Kachchh in a small museum like an effort to fill the Sea in to a picture. However, The Kutchi Jain Sewa Samaj ‚€“ Ahmedabad has made this humble attempt with a hope that those interested to know about the cultural heritage of Kachchh will have a glimpse of it through this museum. It will be a matter of satisfaction for us it, on seeing this museum; will be prompted to visit Kachchh.


 

GalleryGallery Gallery Gallery Gallery
43/44, Brahman Mitra Mandal Society,
Opp. Navchetan School,
Paldi, Ellisbridge,
Ahmedabad - 380 006 (Gujarat) India.
Phone: (079) 2657 8892, 2657 7468, 2658 1501
Fax: 079-2658 2060
Email: kutchi_jainamd@hotmail.com, info@kutchijainahd.org