Nabanna  Folk Art & Craft Fair

Press Release

Held since 2006 Nabanna is a multi-faceted folk art and craft fair, which provides a platform for crafts persons to sell their wares and interact directly with their buyers.  The fifteenth edition of Nabanna is a twelve-day event being held from 29 Feb to 11 Mar 2020.  Artisans from districts of Bengal and other states like Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Bihar, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Telengana etc. participate in Nabanna.  Besides a wide display of handicrafts and textiles, varieties of rice from all over Bengal are part of Nabanna.  The other attractions include seminar, art competition for children, workshop on conservation & restoration for the students Kala Bhavana, Visva Bharati in collaboration with INTACH, Kolkata, free health and eye check-up camp for participating artisans conducted by Sri Aurobindo Seva Kendra, Kolkata etc..  In the evenings there are wide range of cultural programmes and lots of food stalls offering delectable local cuisine. 


This year Honourable Japanese Consul General, Mr. Masayuki Tagahas kindly consented to inaugurate Nabanna and NEW.

Honourable US Consul General Ms. Patti Hoffman will also grace the occasion, and inaugurate a new segment being introduced this year: Natun Chinta Bhabna – New Ideas.

Last year the Festival saw a new addition to its annual programme: Nabanna Earth Weekend or NEW festival. NEW is a free, open-access, nonprofit festival of arts and ideas, with international participation, offering sessions in both English and Bengali. NEW will coincide with the inaugural weekend of the annual Nabanna crafts mela.

International Presence

With its second edition, NEW goes truly international. The Dhaka Lit Fest is an official partner, and Sadaf Saaz, Director of Dhaka Lit Fest, will lead a team of young Bangladeshi women artists and writers to present a session at NEW.

The Bangladeshi arts complex Bistaar will also present a session with leading writer Mashrur Arefin. Other participants from Bangladesh include author Munize Manzur, actor-director Naila Azad and established literary and art critic Alam Khorshed.

Germany too plays a big role in NEW 2020. Indologist and Peter Pannke will speak, and launch his memoir Singers Die Twicein a Bengali translation Ragraginir Deshe: bharatiya shangiter pathe prantoreby Sampark. This session is co-presented with Goethe Institut/Max Mueller Bhavan Kolkata. The German connection continues with the participation of Dr Jurgen Axer of Auroville and Dr Martin Kaempchen of Santiniketan.

Environment Awareness

Natun Chinta Bhabna – New Ideasis a fresh initiative. This is a showcase for locally based design innovators and entrepreneurs who are committed to environment friendly and sustainable processes and products.  The inauguration will be done by US Consul General Ms Patti Hoffman. There will also be a showcase of short films and photographs on the theme of environment and climate change in collaboration with the US Consulate and American Centre.

The environment focus continues with the Sadhan C Dutt Memorial Lecture being delivered by wellknown conservationist, ornithologist and wildlife expert Bikram Grewal : The Broken Nest: Tagore, Prakriti, Gharey and Bairey. A discussion on art and environment in Santiniketan follows with art historian R Siva Kumar and celebrated artist Jogen Chowdhury.

Music and Theatre

A centennial tribute to Santiniketan-based esraj maestro Pt Ashesh Bandyopadhyay will feature a discussion by leading musicians as well as a performance by his daughter and student Sewli Bose.

Music and community is explored in a session co-presented with India Foundation for the Arts, with conversation and performance from North and Northeast India; while music and pedagogy is discussed in a conversation between practitioners Peter Pannke and Ranjani Ramachandran.

Performance and literature are interwoven in an audio play, William Meets Tagore, with texts and songs by William Shakespeare and Rabindranath Tagore, presented by popular stage and screen artistes Anushua Majumdar and Biplab Dasgupta, with music by Debasish Saha.

Graphic literature

Recognising the interplay between text and visual art, NEW features Page Frames: An exhibition of an illustrated book by the celebrated writer N’gugi wa Thiong’o, The Upright Revolution, designed and illustrated by Sunandini Banerjee. This is co-presented with Seagull Books.

Another session is dedicated to the fascinating history of Bengali comics, past and present by graphic design experts Pinaki De and Debasish Mukhopadhyay.

Managing Trustee of SAMT, Shanta Ghosh, said ‘Natun Chinta Bhabna – New Ideas is a platform that resonates with SAMT’s interest in promoting green and sustainable handicraft, and encouraging local initiatives. We look forward to evolving this festival over the years to make it an important part of Santiniketan’s annual calendar.  With its second edition, NEW has introduced several elements that make this truly an international festival of literature, arts and ideas.’ Anjum Katyal, Curator, NEW, said, ‘We would like to see all creative fields  included for a rich cross pollination of ideas, from traditional crafts, arts and literature, to contemporary design, cuisine and food cultures; and we look forward to seeing NEW grow more and more inclusive in the years to come.’

crafts on display




Andhra Pradesh  Leather Puppet Lamp Shade, Textiles (Cotton & Silk)
Bihar Madhubani Painting, Muga Tussar Silk, Baghalpuri Linen
Delhi Palm Leaf & Cotton Bag, Textile
Jharkhand Handloom Tussar Textiles, Gijja, Painting
Orissa Palm Leaf Patachitra, Pipli, Toy, Textiles, Copperware, Silver Filigiri
Rajasthan Textiles
Telengana Ikkat, Cotton Textile
Uttar Pradesh Banarasi Silk, Handloom Bed sheet, Dress Material, Durries, Wooden Jewellery, Brass Metal Craft, Wooden furnitur
West Bengal  
     Bankura Dokra, Gamchha, Baluchari
     Bardhaman Dokra, Scale Jewellery, Shola, Wood Curving
     Birbhum Glazed Pottery, Terracotta, Silk & Tussar, Block Print,

Katum Kutum Toys, Leather, Kantha Stitch & Embroidery, Khesh Dress Material, Tribal Jewellery, Slate Curving, Wood Curving

    Coochbihar Cane & Bamboo Furniture, Shital Pati
    Darjeeling Wooden Musk, Decorative Item, Furniture
    Dinajpur (north) Terracotta, Jute Mat
    Dinajpur (south) Shola, Jute
    Hooghly Cane & Bamboo, Jute, Embroidery Bed Cover
    Howrah Bamboo, Textiles
    Kolkata Jewellery, Jute, Leather, Wooden Toy, Palmleaf Toy
    Malda Cane & Bamboo
    Midnapore (east) Patachitra, Sea Shell, Brass & Bell Metal, Mat, Jute
    Midnapore (west) Copper Jewellery
    Murshidabad Sholapith, Jute Bag, Baluchari, Brass & Bell Metal
    Nadia Krishnanagar Doll, Brass & Bell Metal, Cane & Bamboo Basket, Fulia Cotton Sari
    Purulia Coconut Shell, Conch Shell, Stone Curving
    24 Parganas (north) Jute & Jute Jewellery, Hand Embroidery, Terracotta Jewellery, Silver Filigiri
    24 Parganas (south) Dry Flower, Wooden & Palm Leaf Toy


Other attractions :-

  1. An array of indigenous rices,
  2. Nursery
  3. Food stalls
  4. Pithe Puli / Patisapta / Malpoa / Dudhpuli / Gokul Pithe
  5. Variety of Snacks & Moglai Food
  6. Goyna Bori
  7. Variety of Pickle, Pan & Lassi