For well over 300 years leatherwork has been the primary occupation of the Regar Samaj community of Rhajastan, India. This group is adept in the preparation and tanning of hides and few could match their skill in the making of saddles, harness or tackle. In the past they were sought after to furnish the leather armour for the cavalry. Historically, they have also produced containers for gathering and storing water and Juti, the ornamented neck belts and face decoration of heard animals.
Modern India has little need for these items however, and the traditional skills of these artisans are vanishing. In 1975, as an initiative of the esteemed Shri Ravi J Mathai, and the National Institute for Design, a leatherwork co-operative was formed. Jawaja had two goals: eliminate toxic or ineffective stages in production and design a new line for the contemporary market based on traditional strengths and skills.