Majikhan Ilamkhan Mutva: Reviving the Rich Legacy of Lippan Kaam

Swathika R P, Assistant Director OT.
Swathika R P, Assistant Director OT.

10 Sep, 2023

G20 is a significant event which is altering the way the world looks at India. While the world is focusing on the Leader’s summit and the consensus on New Delhi Leaders’s declaration, India has silently used the charm of its soft power to mesmerise the visiting delegates through the soothing experience at the crafts bazaar.

As people throng the Crafts Bazaar, the pavilion with Majikhan Ilamkhan Mutva’s Lippam kaam display sparkle with elegance.The word "Lippan' means 'clay' or 'dung' in local Gujarati, and the word 'kaam' denotes 'work'.It is used to embellish the interior and exterior walls of the circular adobes i.e. locally Known as "Bhungas" that these communities live in.

Lippan is practiced mainly by the Rabari, Kumbhar, Marwada Harijan and Mutwa communities but most Lippan artisans today trace their origins to the Kumbhar community.



Mud and mirror work, known as lippan kaam, is an art form steeped in history and tradition, hailing from the enchanting Kutch region in Gujarat, India. For centuries, this captivating craft adorned the interior walls of homes, not only for its aesthetic appeal but also for its ability to keep interiors cool during the scorching summer months. Today, it has evolved into a framed art form, enhancing home decor across the globe. One individual who has dedicated himself to preserving and revitalizing this fading art is Majikhan Ilamkhan Mutva, the founder of Mutva Mud Work Art. He is a recipient of India Book of Records award, Dexterity Global Record and Gold Award- 2023 from Karighar Clinic.



Hailing from the Mutva community, one of the oldest custodians of this art form, Majikhan's upbringing was intertwined with the beauty of lippan kaam. However, he lamented that this exquisite artistry was confined to their villages, with only occasional tourist admiration. Astonishingly, there were merely five individuals in his village, himself included, who possessed the knowledge of lippan kaam.

The magic of Mutva mud artwork lies in the careful blending of soil, horse dung, glue, water, and other undisclosed elements, which Majikhan refers to as the secret ingredients behind this art form. While Majikhan had a humble academic background, having completed his Class 10 education, his heart was deeply invested in the world of lippan kaam. In 2013, he embarked on a mission to share this unique art with the entire nation.

Majikhan's journey of learning the art was a testament to his unwavering dedication. He acquired the necessary skills from a fellow community member, starting his creative journey with just Rs 1,500 to purchase raw materials. Yet, one of the significant challenges he encountered was securing orders. Despite his initial hurdles, Majikhan's determination and passion for preserving this art led him to showcase his work at Rann Utsav. Impressed by his work, they acquired 12 of his pieces for hall decoration. While this was undoubtedly a moment of joy, Majikhan's aspirations extended beyond this initial recognition.

Majikhan Ilamkhan Mutva's journey is a remarkable tale of preserving cultural heritage and spreading the beauty of lippan kaam far and wide. His dedication and passion have not only earned him recognition but have also helped revive a fading art form. Through his efforts, the legacy of lippan kaam continues to thrive, enchanting art enthusiasts and admirers worldwide.

In a world where ancient traditions often fade into obscurity, Majikhan Ilamkhan Mutva stands as a shining example of how one individual's determination can breathe new life into a cherished cultural heritage. His journey serves as an inspiration for all those seeking to preserve and celebrate the artistic treasures of our past.