The word ‘Umola’ in Assamese means ‘to gently play’.
The essence of this collective is to seek the subtle playfulness that is inherent in nature. It is a space that shares their deep connection to land and lifeforms through craft and textiles. Umola believes that creating is a collaborative community effort, where each member is an equal contributor, with processes paced on the rhythms of nature.
TEXTILES EMBEDDED WITH TRADITIONAL KNOWLEDGE
Umola believes in preserving and sharing Traditional Knowledge through its products. It is at the heart of this project to create processes of production that are grounded on the values taught by ancestors' culture such as preserving, sharing, being respectful, caring, and being intentional.
Umola aims to create textiles imbued with spirit and stories. The artisans believe the land is their first teacher and through their processes and products, they aim to quietly observe, gather and preserve the knowledge that is steeped in the land. This collective is a story-telling hub, centered on Traditional Cultural Expressions, shared knowledge about life and lifeforms, experiences and dreams of each member involved.
To GENTLY PLAY
Umola is a community collective that works with women of rural and urban Assam. They work at the cross-section of story-telling and textile design. It is a platform that focuses on using embroidery as a medium to document, preserve and pass on Traditional Knowledge. Embroidery as a living body of knowledge engages not only the hands of the maker but also their spirit. Through this project, Umola aims to use this craft to empower women, provide a space for them to share their knowledge, and weave stories they would like to share.
Umola is currently working with a family of weavers in two villages of Assam - Panara and Sodropoloha. A traditional Assamese loom called the Tat Xal is used to weave cotton fabrics. The intention of the house of embroidery is for it to be a source of empowerment for women.
THE SPIRIT OF THE MAKER AND STORIES OF THE LAND
"We at Umola believe in collaborative designing. We think of this space as a story-telling hub, where we are constantly learning from our land and lifeforms, from shared knowledge, folklore, memories, and dialogue." says Jahnavee Baruah, the Founder of Umola.
As a member of the Cultural Intellectual Property Rights Initiative®, Umola aims to promote cultural sustainability through the use of traditional craft processes and embed the crafted objects with the spirit of the maker and stories of the land.
"We pledge to honour each maker, let the process of creation be an expansive experience and create objects that tell stories." Jahnavee Baruah