Traditional art and craft practiced by various tribal artisans are the evidence of tribal cultural heritage. The artisan skill program looks promising in the field of preservation and propagation of this heritage value and design on a contemporary paradigm.
Tribal people in Odisha have been producing different handicrafts both utilitarian and decorative over centuries. There are tribal communities well known for typical crafts produced out oflocal resources utilizing indigenous techniques and traditionally inherited skills. The tribal handicrafts are specialized skills which are passed on from one generation to another and are the means of livelihood of the artisans, who make up a small minority.
There is a broad range of crafts and artefacts produced by tribal artisans of Odisha largely based on locally available raw materials and indigenous technology. Exclusive designs of crafts made out of wood, grass, leaves, lac, plant and animal materials, stone, metals, earthen wares and textiles provide a panorama of tribal crafts. However, the future is bleak for these artisans and their families, grappling as they are with problems of access to customers and a limited ability to make high-quality, marketdriven artefacts and sundry products.
In order to conserve this intangible cultural heritage, the SDC has come forward to tackle such issues by reviving languishing crafts through skill development and upgradation, quality control, use of technology and the linking of artisans with domestic and export markets. To bring alive once again their exquisite skill, the identification of tribal artisans , providing them official recognition, providing skill training and technology support and facilitating forward and backward linkages for promotion of their typical crafts, artefacts and decorative objects is being expedited. The goal is to make artisans self sustaining in the longer run. In order to promote and protect the artisans skills inherited, they will be encouraged and facilitated to participate in national and International exhibitions to show their skills and earn a livelihood.