Tribal Art and Crafts

Kurumbas Art Revival Initiative

The Kurumbas Art Revival Initiative by One Earth Foundation aims to create awareness, promote learning,  and provide livelihood opportunities for existing and upcoming artists of the unique painting style practised by the primitive tribal group of Kurumbas: residents on the steep slopes of the Nilgiris in South India.

British Gazettes and travel notes of visitors to the “Neigherries” from the 1820s onwards have highlighted the art of the Kurumbas people.  Our survey of 2012 of 14+ Kurumbas villages revealed that this art was truly dying with barely 1 or 2 artists practising it.

In 2013  Kurumbas Art Revival Initiative was started to create awareness, promote learning, and provide livelihood opportunities for existing and upcoming artists of the unique painting style of the Kurumbas.  We started 3 initiatives

  • Kurumba Art Revival Camps for Kurumbas children
  • Kurumba Art Awareness Camps for children from local schools
  • Art Workshops for visiting students

For additional information on our efforts and activities under this initiative please visit


A poem written in Red and Black

An embroidery is an absorbing form of cultural expression and many a time tells the story of civilization itself.  That simply two colours – red and black – can be used in limitless ways to fashion diverse designs is the hallmark of Toda embroidery. The Todas are a pastoral community from the Nilgiri hills in Tamil Nadu who live in small hamlets called “munds” each having 6 – 15 families.


 In an informal survey, One Earth Foundation was surprised to learn that most Toda women thought that the craft and skill will fade away with their generation as it was not being passed down from mother to daughter anymore.

The Native Crafts: Toda Embroidery initiative was set up in 2014.  The key objectives were to provide

  • Financial and material support for  Toda Women’s Self Help Groups
  • Help set up a commercial outlet. Toda embroidery display counter at Taj Gateway Counter, Connor