The Art of Dhokra – a Journey From Metal To Mesmerizing Handicrafts

Metal To Mesmerizing Handicrafts

West Bengal has a marvelous heritage of handmade crafts. These handicrafts comprise textured Baluchari Sarees, Tasar and Silk textile from Murshidabad, and many more. Besides the garment’s handicrafts, jute items, cane and wood products, brassware, and wooden dolls. These handicrafts are marketed and promoted by Manjusha, State Government-owned establishments. 

Handicrafts of West Bengal are:

Leathercraft

It is a fine example of contemporary art and craft; the Bengal leather crafts have their widespread popularity and development due to some artwork done by artists at Santi Niketan.

Bamboo and Cane

Bamboo craft exists from the very early chapters of civilization, it is a tradition of Bengal to create fancy handicrafts out of cane and bamboo. There are more than 35000 artists who practice this art and are very skilled in making these handicrafts. 

Brass & Bell Metal

There is a generation of metalworkers in the Bengal region. They make utensils for daily use purposes or rituals, their main focus stays on making strong quality handicrafts. Copper is one of the earliest known metals, it is transformed into brass, bronze, and bell metal by metallurgists of Harappan civilization. 

Dhokra

They are known to be Nomadic tribes who used to roam the Earth. The Dhokra tribe of craftsmen ranges through the land of Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, and Andhra Pradesh. They gave us the heritage beauty of finely molded ornaments items of casted metals. 

Horn Work

The craftsmen of the Bengal region have gained popularity for their fine work in making horn and bone craft. These horn crafts display the traditional luxury of the past civilization. It is known that in ancient times of Indian history, horn combs were made, and they used to be in shining black colour and had a shade of translucent grey.

Clay Dolls

Clay handicrafts give a real-life touch, but the clay dolls of Krishnanagar in Bengal, are known for its realistic and fine quality finish. It was trademarked by Maharaja Krishnachandra himself in the late 18th century.

Jute Products

The Golden fibre is hand woven and knotted and braided by the women of Bengal mainly for domestic uses. Jute was a very famous fibre in the ancient period. Today, Bengal is the major producer of Jute goods like jute blended carpets, hanging garden pots, bed sheets, decorative tapes, and more. In the villages of Kaliaganj, this process of weaving, coloring, of jute in looms is carried out.

Sandalwood Carving

Elephant tusks were used to carved into fine pieces of crafts by the craftsmen of Murshidabad district. But it led to a threat to the population of Elephants, the ecological disaster became a problem and resulted in a ban on ivory. 

Masks and Puppets

Once, the priest’s make-believe as gods, spirits, demons. Today they are popular crafts used for interior decoration. In Bengal, masks were used by the Choou dancers of Purulia, it represents their theatrical tradition. Masks were also used in Devil dances and other religious festivals of Tibet and Darjeeling. 

Papier Mache

This craft is not traditional to Bengal. Today there are a lot of artisans around Calcutta, they have taken up the craft and make handicraft items like dolls and masks, you can find these handicrafts in the markets easily. 

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