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    ARTICLE

    Berhampuri Saree

    Map Academy

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    A type of thick silk saree that characteristically features a phoda kumbha motif and is named after Berhampur (now Brahmapur), a city associated with the deity Brahma in the Ganjam district of Odisha (formerly Orissa). Also known as the Berhampuri resham patta, these sarees are typically woven in red, white, black and blue and are often accompanied by a matching joda. The unique feature of this saree is that the phoda kumbha pattern is reversible, allowing the saree to be worn with either side facing outwards. As the phoda kumbha pattern and the expensive silk used to make it, in the context of the mythological history of the textile, are considered markers of auspiciousness, the saree, as well as the joda, are worn at important ceremonies, such as weddings.

    Textiles using the style of weaving found in Berhampuri sarees are said to have originated in the fourteenth century, under the patronage of the Mohuri kings of Odisha. Some scholars suggest that they were traded through the state’s Gopalpur port to other countries connected by the Bay of Bengal. They have also historically been used to drape Jagannath, Balabhadra and Subhadra — the principal deities worshipped at the Jagannath temple in Puri.

    In 2013, the Berhampuri saree acquired Geographical Indication (GI) status from the Government of India for their territory-specific production and characteristics.

     
    Bibliography

    Ghose, Ruchira. 2017. Mapping Indian Textiles: Approaches to Display and Storage of Indian Textiles in Public Museums. New Delhi: Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts.

    Mohanty, Hrusikesh. 2013. “Berhampur charts silk route to recognition.” Times of India, Jan 12, 2013. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bhubaneswar/Berhampur-charts-silk-route-to-recognition/articleshow/17990858.cms

    Government Of India, Geographical Indications. Journal No.44, January 11, 2012. http://ipindiaservices.gov.in/GIRPublic/Application/ViewDocument.

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