GULAAL GOTA (Syllabus GS Paper 1 – Art and Culture)

News-CRUX-10     23rd March 2024        
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Context: In certain areas of Jaipur in Rajasthan, an ancient tradition will unfold where colors will be dispersed using a distinctive method known as "Gulaal Gota," which traces its origins back approximately 400 years.


Gulaal Gota

  • About: It is a traditional item used in Holi celebrations, consisting of a small ball made of lac filled with dry gulaal.
  • Crafting Process: Local artisans begin by boiling lac in water to make it flexible, as lac is a resinous substance secreted by certain insects, commonly used in crafting various items like bangles.
  • Color Addition: Once shaped, color is added to the lac, typically starting with primary colors like red, yellow, and green, which can be combined to create additional hues.
  • Shaping and Sealing: After coloring, the lac is heated and blown into spherical shapes using a blower called "phunkni", and then filled with dry gulaal before being sealed with more lac.
  • Raw Material Sourcing: Lac, sourced from Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand, is the primary raw material for Gulaal Gotas.

oAround 300,000 lac insects are killed to produce 1 kg of lac resin, which also yields lac dye and wax.

  • Historical Roots: Gulaal Gotas are exclusively crafted by Muslim lac makers known as Manihaars in Jaipur.

oManihaars, whose ancestors were shepherds and horse traders from Afghanistan, have established this tradition in Jaipur.

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