>> Madiki (The Making of Agricultural Implements)
1.0 Craft Identity
1.1 Name of Craft: Carpentry specializing in agricultural implements
1.2 Vernacular equivalent: Madiki
1.3 Craft description: An aspect of Badigathana it involves making Agricultural tools and implements, a combination of both carpentry and blacksmithy skills.
2.0 Locations (within study area): Allikere, Rampura, Hosa Mallapagudi, Halle Mallapagudi
3.0 Historical overview
Community history – Vishwakarma and Vishwa Brāhman are synonyms for Kammālan, the members of which class claim descent from the five faces of Vishwakarma, the architect of the gods. Some sources consider them five sons of Vishwakarma i.e.
Manu – Smithy
Maya – Carpentry
Silpa – Stoneworks
Tvashtra – Metalworks and
Daivagna/ Visvagnas – Jewellery
The word Kammalan itself originates from Kannālan, denoting the one who rules the eye. This is with reference to the craftsmen for they make articles that please the viewer and thus help open his inner eye. The Kammalans in some cases believe themselves to be superior to the Brahmins and generally worship an aspect of Lord Siva and female deity whose name varies with geographical location. [Thurston, Edgar and Rangachari K. Castes and Tribes of Southern India, Government Press, Madras: 1909 (Ed. 2001)]
4.0 Work Process
4.1 Seasonality: No work is done during the rains.
4.2: Materials and their origins:
Wood and iron is usually brought in by the farmers, and the craftsperson receives a wage for his labour.
4.3 Tools: Saws, chisels, drills, files, mattaligay (L-shaped wooden piece), Wrench, Kodti (wooden hammer), Suttige (iron hammer used during the rains).
4.4 Work Pattern: Based on orders. There aren’t enough orders for the workers to make implements in advance.
4.5 Products: Agricultural implements like different types of ploughs, the Negilu (bullock yokes), etc.
4.6 Pricing range: Repairs can cost as little as Rs. 15, and a Negilu is priced at Rs 1000.
5.0 Crafts-person’s perspective
The craft seems to be dying rapidly due to mechanization of agriculture. With the coming of machines and mechanised implements for farming, traditional implements are becoming less popular among farmers. Few are willing to spend money to get them made when affordable readymade tools are plentiful in the market. Additionally, land parcels are larger limiting the usefulness of such small manual tools.
6.0 Lister’s comments
6.2 Socio-economic data based on field interviews: Most individuals interviewed fell under the BPL category, suggesting a low socio-economic background. They also tended to belong to the Scheduled Castes and backward sections of society.