Hodi Craft

Published on - November 21, 2022

Source: The Hindu


The Geographical Indications Registry at Guindy, Chennai, has received an application from the Tribal Development Council, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, seeking the Geographical Indication (GI) tag for the Nicobari hodi craft.

About Nicobari hodi:

  • 'Hodi' is the Nicobari tribe’s traditional craft.
  • It is an outrigger canoe, very commonly operated in the Nicobar group of islands.
  • The technical skills for building a hodi are based on indigenous knowledge inherited by the Nicobarese from their forefathers.
  • The hodi is built using either locally available trees or from nearby islands, and its design varies slightly from island to island.
  • Considerations to be taken into account include the length of the finished canoe, which has to be 12 times that of its width while the length of the undressed tree trunk has to be 15 times this width.
  • Hodis is used for transporting people and goods from one island to another, for sending coconuts, and for fishing and racing purposes.
  • Hodi races are held between islands and villages.
  • This is the first application from the Union Territory seeking a tag for one of its products.

Significance of Nicobar Islands:

Nicobarese and Shompens belonging to Mongoloid race inhabit these islands which differ from the Andaman tribes belonging to the Negritoid race.

The major population of the Nicobari tribe is living in Car Nicobar Island which is one among the 11 inhabited islands of the Nicobar district under the Union territory of Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

This island is flat with some cliffs and surrounded by white sandy beaches with bluish unpolluted water.

The economy of the Nicobari tribe is intricately linked with the forest through coconut plantation and sea through fishing.

The traditional craft of the Nicobari tribe is the Hodi, which is an outrigger canoe, very commonly operated in the Nicobar group of Islands.

About GI Tag:

  1. A geographical indication or GI is a sign used on products that have a specific geographical origin and possess qualities or a reputation that are due to that origin.
  2. Geographical Indications are part of the intellectual property rights that comes under the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property.
  3. In India, Geographical Indications registration is administered by the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act of 1999.
  4. This tag is valid for a period of 10 yearsfollowing which it can be renewed.
  5. GI tags are covered under World Trade Organization.
  6. Geographical indications are typically used for agricultural products, foodstuffs, wine and spirit drinks, handicrafts, and industrial products.
  7. It is basically an assurance that the product is coming from that specific area. It's kind of trademark in the international market.
  8. Karnataka has the highest number of GI tags i.e. 47products followed by Tamil Nadu (39).

Benefits of registration of Geographical Indications:

  • It confers legal protection to Geographical Indications in India
  • Prevents unauthorised use of a Registered Geographical Indication by others
  • It provides legal protection to Indian Geographical Indications which in turn boost exports.
  • It promotes economic prosperity of producers of goods produced in a geographical territory.

How a geographical indication is different from a Trademark?

A trade mark is a sign which is used in the course of trade and it distinguishes goods or services of one enterprise from those of other enterprises.

Whereas a geographical indication is an indication used to identify goods having special characteristics originating from a definite geographical territory.