Scissors Craft: Indian Folk Art

On Saturday, the family and I attended the "Parade of Chariots" festival sponsored by Philadelphia's Radha Krishna temple. The parade reenacts a famous festival in Puri, Orissa, India called Ratha Yatra where the much beloved local deity of Jagannatha is brought out of the temple in a grand parade on a hand-pulled, several-story-high chariot.  Much smaller versions of the parade are held throughout the world and this weekend was Philadelphia's turn!

(Etymological factoid: Ever heard of the word juggernaut? Its roots are in the name of Jagannatha!)

One of my favorite things to do at festivals is to visit the vendor booths! In a sea of polyester kurtas, there were a few vendors selling genuine handicrafts from India. I almost passed this amazing bag up, dismissing it as a hippy accessory. But, you know what, I'm not going to let hippies ruin it for me! Look at how beautiful that style of embroidery is! I have to find out what the technique is called; it's almost like a quilting style with applied fabric. If anyone knows, please let me know. I think this may actually become a decorative interior piece since I would be so paranoid that the white cloth would be ruined if I actually used it. It looks pretty spectacular hanging on one of the walls in my bedroom.

Beautiful Indian folk dancers sporting gorgeous outfits. This style of dance is called Bharata Natyam and is a featured presentation at the annual festival. I love watching all the little girls sitting at the edge of the stage, observing the dancers with rapt attention.

I saved the best for last. Here's my daughter holding her new crocheted Jagannatha doll! How cool is that? This was made by a cow sanctuary farm in Port Royal, PA called Gita Nagari. Throughout the years, this small farm has taken in many cows that would have been normally sent for slaughter after their "usefulness" had been drained at a commercial farm. The cows are lovingly taken care of and are able to freely roam the farm's many acres. You can adopt a cow at Gita Nagari to help the farm with their care. More information here.


  1. Indian artwork and crafts are some of the most beautiful, I feel. Both the bag and doll are great.

  2. Orissan applique handicraft is usually referred to as pipli, after the town Pipli where most of those things are's about 40km from Puri.


I love comments! Thanks for saying hi!