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How Rajasthani Handcrafted Mojari became Comfortable, Safe and Stylish

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The Invention of Handcrafted Mojari

Rajasthan is known for its leather goods, including bags, books, belts, handcrafted mojari (leather shoes) and musical instruments. originally, the making of leather goods was a specialization of mochi community (shoemakers).

Characterizing the history and culture of Rajasthan, they also made lagam (horse bridles), sword Sheaths, animal skin shields, horse and camel riding saddles, Wartime vests etc.

In the beginning, mojari made out of daily necessity for both men and women; men use them for walks, grazing and working in agricultural fields; Women use them to walk long distances for drinking water.

Mojaris were designed to be very functional. In the hot climates of Rajasthan, shoes must be breathable; to travel long distances on rocky ground, it must be strong and flexible; removing them at home and in temples should be easy; With these things in mind, the mojari is designed in the form of slip-on type, with the top, side and back of the foot almost barefoot.

It is made from locally sourced, plant-tanned leather (using the bark of Babul’s tree). The thermal properties of the leather, together with the thick sole, protect the foot from sand, pebbles and spikes, as well as from hot terrain.

How Handcrafted Mojari making grew

In neighboring regions like Punjab, the mojarisare called jutti. In Multan, the mojarisarecalled khusa. In these regions, the elite ofthe societypatronizedthe activities of the Mojaris, and footwear became an important element of the tradition.

Indian weddings where it was worn with traditional Indian dresses suchas dhotikurta, kurtapjama, salvarkamiz or shervani. During the Mughal period, the simple mojari became highly decorative, although over the centuries the crafts were alsotarnished by the looks andfunctionsof Rajasthan. For example, the upturned toe is said to mimic the curled mustache of Rajput men, and the bright red embroidery matches the red weave of Rajasthan.

Related: Know your Craft- Batic Paintings

Making of Handcrafted Majaris

In Rajasthan, mojari are mainly handcrafted at places like Jodhpur, Junjhunu, Ajmer, Bikaner, Jaisalmer and Jaipur. In these places, Families are dedicated to this craft from generations. The craftsmanship and skills are being passed from generations of skilled & dedicated craftsmen. in these places you can find Authentic and Original handcrafted Mojaris.

Mojaris are completely handcrafted using only camel, goat, cow and buffalo skins, in few regions fabric and rubber are also used. Different types of leather are used in different ways. Sole, which is most susceptible to wear & Tear is made of buffalo leather, which is very strong and thick, and the upper part is made of suede which is easy to work with. The embroidery is done with a special thread that has the smoothness and luster of silk, but is very strong and not easy to wear.

Mojaris are made in two halfs, top one is densely embroidered and made by Female members of the house, Leather work which is more tough is done by male members. These shoes are not designed for right or left foot, they can be worn on both feet, so the pair must have an identical look. sole and upper. Once both the parts are ready, they ae stitched using specially made waxed cotton yarn.

Check out VeUniq Collection of Authentic handcrafted Mojaris here

Conclusion

While Handcrafted Mojaris are popular at weddings and occassions, these high-end shoes can only be worn occasionally, which is why these shoes have a very niche market. It takes several days to make an embroidered mojari. Most of the products is exported out of india as the demand is more in export.

Mojaris are going thru innovations to meet the needs of a larger market with different tastes. its time to make us aware that our traditional footwear are much more then a thing to wear on weddings. Mojari’s have gone thru some design changes which can be used in daily usase also.

To increase awareness and bring focus on Authentic and Genuine handcrafted products, Veuniq is bringing Artisan and Craftsmen on its platform https://veuniq.com . This is to give them more identity, exposure and create opportunity for selling their craft directly to global buyers.

This story was a part of a series “Know your Craft” to bring awareness about Indian Traditional crafts and craftsmen. like, share & comment to let us know your views.

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