Kunbi Saree in the spotlight at the Goa Heritage Festival

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 The Campal Heritage precinct at Panjim, the venue for the pioneering Goa Heritage Festival (GHF) came alive with residents and citizens across age groups as they poured in to witness a celebration of Goa’s heritage and culture.

Spread over five days, the festival continues to celebrate the state’s rich art and culture with a series of heritage walks, talks,music , dance,literature and poetry, food, beverages, and entertainment for the entire family from sunrise to sunset.

The Kunbi saree, a traditional textile originating from Goa was in the spotlight as ladies sashayed down the garden path draped in the kunbi saree in various hues. Ladies across age groups participated in the unique celebration as they did the catwalk wearing the traditional sturdy red and white chequered cotton saree. History reveals that the saree was worn extensively by  the kunbi tribal women of Goa and was uniquely designed to enable the women to work freely in the fields and was comfortable enough to do household chores.

“It’s heartening to see the number of people who came forward to assist and volunteered to put our ideas and thoughts into action. The residents of Campal have been wonderful. It  just shows how committed we all are to keep Goan heritage alive and we are truly grateful for the same.” said Heta Pandit, Member of GHAG

The festival featured a variety of local businesses and eateries who feature at the garden lawns including a pet adoption zone at one of the heritage areas.

Art by 43 local artists is being displayed in the homes of residents in the heritage area. The Heritage Bistro hosts book launches and discussions every day as part of the IDEAS segment which witnessed the launch of Heta Pandit’s newest book Stories from Goan Houses and a culinary glossary by Dr. Fatima Silva Gracias.

Celebrated Indian social worker, designer, writer, and craft activist, Laila Tyabji spoke on the Kunbi saree at the festival.  “Crafts, art, folk performances, sculptures need to be recognised as luxury items and is a potential goldmine. I am thrilled that the Goa Heritage Festival has taken this initiative to let the world know the importance of them through different sets and stories.” said Laila. She added, “I have written extensively about sarees that have made an impact through its history , it continues to be my personal favourite and having the opportunity to speak to a packed- spaced audience in depth about it, is something I am eternally grateful for.

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