Origin: Kerala embraces multi-layered craft heritage that has carved its way through historical events. The craft of Ramacham rests on the religious beliefs of artisans. It has taken roots and spread through generations, communities and time.
For centuries, to survive the scorching sun, inhabitants of Kerala have made a vast spectrum of products such as Ramacham vishari (fan made of Vettiver), sleeping Ramacham mats etc.
Botanically, Ramacham is titled Vettiveria zezanoides. Popularly known as Khus Khus or Ramacham, vetiver is an aromatic herb with multiple benefits.
Kerala has used its grass and roots for medicinal purposes. Artisans use to dip the roots of this plant in earthen water pots to add a sweet flavour and cure high body temperature.
Present Day: Kerala, the land of eco-friendly handicraft items has adopted several steps to strengthen operations and promote these handicraft items. Handicrafts Development Corporation of Kerala Ltd is continuously working towards providing employment to artisans and creating market for their product.
The Handicrafts Development Corporation of Kerala has organized various exhibitions. These exhibitions touch success and open new doors and collaboration opportunities for artisans.
Today, the humble artisans have been facing the following problems: scarcity of raw materials, climate dependent raw materials etc.
However, with the development of shopping tourism and accelerating demand of eco-friendly products, these products are thriving.
The Government is also encouraging shopping tourism. The International Recommendations for Tourism Statistics (IRTS 2008) states “tourism trips can be classified according to main purpose, one of these being ‘shopping’, from the perspective of demand, i.e. visitors making a trip with shopping mind”.
In addition, the demand for handicrafts has touched new heights. According to the Export Promotion Council of Handicrafts (2015), the exports of handicrafts have estimated growth of Rs. 387.00 Crore in 1986-87 to 27746.84 Crore in year 2014-15.
Procedure: The strong scented products are made from intact roots. On the flip side, the ones without strong scent are made from intact roots. Vetiver oil plays an integral role in a wide spectrum of products such as soap, perfume, aromatherapy mixture.
Vetiver is woven to create manual loom, chairs, wrist bands and carpets. The process of using vetiver as a raw material has generated employment opportunities for the poor people.
Bring Home Ramacham Handicraft Items: Buy gorgeous and eco-friendly pieces of Ramacham Handicraft Items from small shops of Kerala. You can also pick these from artist exhibitions.