Posts filed under ‘Padmashree Kunjabihari Meher’

Shilpiguru Padmasri Kunjabihari Meher: The Weaving Legend

Click on the following graphic to see the complete FB album of  Padmasri Kunjabihari Meher (Thanks to Saket for uploading the pictures):



September 15, 2012 at 7:43 am Leave a comment

The World famous craftsmans of Sambalpuri fabrics

Following write-up is from the navratna news:


  • Padmashree Krutartha Acharya

Born on 20th March 1900 in a brahmin family in Dabkatikra village of Bargarh district, Padmashree Krutartha Acharya pioneered in making the Sambalpuri design and fabric based on Tie and Dye method method inside and outside the country. He established the Sambalpuri Bastralaya in 1930 and subsequently formed a Cooperative Societies of weavers of the district and the nearby districts.


  • Padmashree Kunjabihari Meher

Born in 1928 is a resident of Barpali. He is one of the geniuses who have endeavored to enrich and glorify the splendid style of Sambalpuri fabrics at home and abroad. Being an ardent and devoted artist of Sambalpuri Ikat, he may be rightly called as KALA-GOURAV (Glory of Art) for his extraordinary skill, keen but delicate use of imaginative power, invention of new designs and his constant efforts to popularize Sambalpuri Handloom fabrics (Tie & Dye) at home and aboard. The artistry of this great master of weaving have been preserved in Port History Museum of U.S.A. and Museum of Germany besides State and National Museum of India. He has been honoured by Utkal, Sambalpur and Berhampur Universities of Orissa, State Award by Govt. of Orissa and National Award by Govt. of India. The President of India honoured him with PADMASHREE Samman in 1998. He was also presented with Honourary Felicitation of Liberty Bell by Governor of Philadelphia (U.S.A.). His live demonstration of Sambalpuri Ikat weavings at Philadelphia (USA), Hongkong and London were highly appreciated.


  • Padmashree Chaturbhuj Meher

Baandha weaving otherwise known as “tie & dye” weaving is the art of tieing and dying of warp and weft threads as per the required design. When both warp and weft are tied and dyed and woven it is called Patolaa. It is in the process of hand weaving that the design gets transmitted on to the fabric by the deft hands of the weaver.

It is this art which has been given new dimension and direction by Sri Chaturbhuj Meher, the Master Craftsman, by devoting his sleepless nights.

A great artist with a great and noble mind could not remain long within the four walls and the limited sphere of Govt. service. His heavenly soul aspired for greater Organisation and Institution of his own. The lucrative post of the Central Government had no lures for him. In 1982, Chaturbhuj Babu started his own weaving factory at his native place Sonepur. Here he applied his acquired experiences and knowledge for the production of numerous new patterns and designs of pure Silk and Tassar fabrics putting together of Baandha and other renowned traditional Handloom Arts of India. As a result. his production could fetch better price and demand throughout India and abroad.

Besides, the weavers working under him could earn better and alluring wages being conversant with new techniques and skill or handloom art.In 1984, Chaturbhuj Babu resigned voluntarily from his post of Expert Weaver in order to utilise his full time for the rapid and fruitful progress of this industry. Side by side, he never thinks of earning money after curtailing the wages of his weavers. Now with noble intention he has started a number of handloom weaving institutions for the betterment of the weaver community at large. Chaturbhuj Babu is fully happy and content now after observing the spectacular success and solid progress of his Institutions for which he has toiled hard day and night and utilised his talent, knowledge and long experiences in hand loom traditional and modern arts and techniques. What is more, with his simplicity, noble character and generosity he has been a fountain-head of inspiration for other artists in this field.

As some of the photographs of his creation given here illustrate the artistic talent. intuition and genius of Chaturbhuj Babu, it is not felt necessary to quote the opinions, impressions of the eminent lovers of Art and Culture of India on him. Though this renowned artist has attained the highest place in the world of Handloom, enjoying goodwill and high reputation, he is still working relentlessly without bothering for name and fame.

Apart from his precious contributions in the domain of handloom, artist Chaturbhuj Babu also spares his valuable time off and on for the upliftment of the Weaver Caste and for eliminating blind faiths and ill-manners in them. In sort, this extraordinary artist never hesitates to take part in such affairs that means good irrespective of any downtrodden caste and creed. May his professional successors profit and prosper by his guidelines for all time to come.

Throughout the world rare and exceptional is the Ekat or “Baandha” art of Westem Orissa. It is a unique type and there is nothing like it in the Wond of Weaving. This Art as a technique of weaving is so original and disparate that it has no resemblance whatsoever to tne other hand loom arts of India. If in Orissa. there ever grew up a peerless craft tradition in hand loom. it was because the Meher (Bhuliaa) weavers were also artists. The son watched his father at work. His hands at first acquired the skill. slowly his mind attuned itself to the work, developed sensitiveness, perceived new images and wove new patterns.Thus the tradition was preserved and improved by degrees.

On 13th October 1935 Chaturbhuj Meher was born as a second child and only son of father Sri Nilamani Meher and mother Srimati Mayavati. Nilamani Meher was weaving beautiful Butaadaar Kaptaa (saree) and managing his family comprising six members anyhow or other. But, as ill-luck would have it. mother Mayavati passed away leaving her only son and three daughters at their infancy. Then being depressed and downcast. Nilamani suffered from Sciatica and became unable to weave cloth. This budding prodigy Chaturbhuj Meher; at the age of seven was lacking even the bare sustenance. Having no way out.  the artist Chaturbhuj Meher and his elder sister had to earn the bread for their family by helping the weavers on the looms. While sitting or the loom, the cloth-beam used to touch the neck of this child artist. So a low stool with a pillow upon it had been arranged for him to sit on.

From such a poor weaver family. comes the extraordinary artist Sri Chaturbhuj Meher of Sonepur in Western Orissa. He is so to say a born artist of delicate charm and brilliant finesse. His sensibility of rhythm and colour, line and curve. size and shape made him a perfect designer and the master craftsman. The dreams of his mind are aptly executed by his hands. How artist Chaturbhuj, bcm in a poor weaver family, could. with his super artistic genius, surmount the difficulties of pecuniary wants and educational deficiency and marched forward. deserves earnest praise and co-operation from the lovers of arts and crafts of this country and abroad.

In the year 1947 artist Chaturbhuj Babu entered into the Weaving Factory of Sonepur and wove various patterns and designs of fabrics having Butaa, Baandha, Kumbha and Anchaa works etc. to the complete satisfaction of the incharge officers of the said factory and learned different techniques of weaving. In 1950 he worked and wove beautiful sarees for Utkal Purdah Agency of Sambalpur under the able guidance of Radhashyam Meher , the epoch-making Bandha artist of Orissa.

But this little wizard later on excelled his ‘Guru’ by learning the different traditional techniques of different provinces of India working as an Expert Weaver in various Weavers Service Centres of All India Handloom Board under Govt of India. Not only that. but he was deriving immense pleasure from teaching those arts and techniques to other weavers. This sort of generosity is rarely found with the other artists of this trade.


  • Surendra Meher

Born in 1959. This master weaver of Barpali, is the youngest son of legendary Ikat weaver Padmashree Kunjabihari Meher. After graduating from Sambalpur University he devoted himself in innovating and experimenting new design in age old traditional art of Sambalpuri Ikat art to make it a contemporary achievement with the touch of modernity. His intricate and beautiful works can never be replaced by machine because the spirit is part of the craft. This young artist created record by being awarded the State Award of Orissa for three years consecutively. He also received National Award in 1991 and Kalanidhi Award in 1993. He represented the country in India Week exhibition at Algurair Centre, Dubai (UAE) and India  A Celebration at Asian Art Museum, Sansfransisco, USA in 1997. His classic creation have been permanently in display in the Art Gallery of Crafts Museum, New Delhi and Asian Art Museum, San-fransisco, USA.

November 12, 2009 at 4:48 pm Leave a comment



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