Jamkhana (dhurrie or dari) in local language means floor covering mats which are widely used during marriages and functions and in homes during occasions. Navalgund dhurries (cotton dhurries) are well known for their excellence in quality of their structure, originality of color and form that makes them unique from other types of floor coverings mats. As per the artisan’s belief, this craft was originated from the time of Ali Adil Shah the king of Bijapur of Karnataka. In the sixteenth century during the tussle between Deccan Sultanate and Vijayanagar Empire in 1565AD, Jamkhana weavers migrated from Bijapur to Navalgund of Karnataka and continued making of this craft. Navalgund or Navelu in Kannada means peacock, it is said that this place was famous for this beautiful bird and later got incorporated as a part of the pattern in the jamkhana.
Floor coverings on floor hold the dirt, prevents slips and falls that can cause injuries. It is flat weaved floor coverings or rugs made of twisted cotton yarn which are called dhurrie placed on certain occasions like weddings, personal ceremonies, religious gatherings etc. Jamkhana and Jainamaz are the two styles of floor coverings where the difference is lying of their use and patterning used by two different communities. Mats used by a single person for prayers and the other used by a community in the prayer hall.
Each dhurrie is divided into three parts with center and two ends, where the center is woven with geometric and simplified natural forms and the ends are woven in reflected symmetry. In most of the dhurrie, the dominant color used is red which is used as background, yellow to set the other colors to place within it, green, black and white are used as accent colors. Placing of the colored yarns (threads) in variations led to the pattern of designs on the jamkhanas.
Some of the traditional names in local language of the motifs used in the Jamkhanas are based on the geometrical shapes below:
|• Badi Ghari (motif)||– Zigzag diamond shape with double edge.|
|• Nanhi Ghari||– Zigzag diamond shape with single edge.|
|• Laheri||– Geometrical pattern like a wave.|
|• Phul||– Geometrical flower.|
|• Bell||– Creeper pattern with zigzag edge.|
|• Chinda||– Vertical stripes.|
|• Chunnat||– Twill diamonds with extra weft.|
|• Mor (Navelu)||– Peacock, After coming to Navalgund they started using mor (peacock) as a motif.|
|• Dhara||– Horizontal stripes.|
|• Pagadi Aata||– Board of a traditional Indian dice game.|