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 "Dokra Craft of Bengal..." 
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Joined: Mon Sep 13, 2010 1:47 pm
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Post "Dokra Craft of Bengal..."
Dokra Craft of Bengal - Discover the Folk Culture of Bengal Through Dhokra Metal Craft
by: Nantaram Orubenga





Among the myriad Indian handicrafts, so famed and coveted all over the world for their unique beauty and skilled craftsmanship, special mention must be made of Dokra craft or Dhokra metal craft that can be classified under Indian brassware handicrafts.

Dokra craft of Bengal

There are groups of traveling craftsmen or nomadic artisans, belonging to socially inferior ranks, who are sporadically scattered in the various tribal districts of Andhra Pradesh, Bengal, Orissa and Chhattisgarh. These nomadic metal craftsmen were known as Dokra artists or Dhokra craftsmen and their chief identity lay in making ornamental, embellished, marvelously fashioned metal figures, figurines and furniture or jewelry like Gods, Goddesses, ritual deities, bird and animal figurines, anklets, trinkets, bracelets, necklets, paikona etc.

What does Dhokra art consist of?

This metal craft of Dokra is famed for the horses, peacocks, chariots, elephants, different types of birds like swan, owl, mynah, parrot, mouse, lion, tigers, figures, of Parvati/Durga, lord Shiva, Ganesh, Kartik, Lakshmi, Narayan, Saraswati these artisans come up with.

Some of the major items manufactured by Dokra craftsmen happen to be tinkling dancing bells for Santhals, cutlery for measuring in a variety of sizes, pancho pradeep, dhunuchi, ghunghrus, home décor items like chains, lamps, lampshades, lamp holders, exquisite tribal Indian jewelry with tribal Indian motifs, symbols and mimesis of ethnic religion and folklore, folk motifs etc.

But those groups of Dokra artists, who make these items, do not however manufacture images of Gods and Goddesses and other ritual deities. Now many of these Dokra craftsmen have settled down in different districts of Bengal like west Midnapore, Bankura, Birbhum, Purulia and Burdwan thus bringing about a break in the itinerant nature of their famed Dokra metal craft.

It is sad to see that in spite of being the brainchild behind such magnificent pieces of art involving high skill labor and creativity, these Dokra artists are treated with a lot of disdain and detestation in Bengal for being communally stumpy. These metal smiths are the most ill treated of all Bengal craftsmen and because of their social outcast status, they always live on the fringes of society. That is why the name Dokra.

In this type of metal casting that harks back to ancient eras some 4500 years back to the days of Indus valley civilization, the Dokra metal craftsmen use the procedure of lost wax or cire perdue.

About The Author
Nantaram Orubenga is an artisan working with metals and clays. He wants to do something to keep the ancient Indian Handicrafts alive and to let the world know about it. If you are interested in discovering more on fascinating Indian Arts and Handicrafts, exclusive brassware and dhokra metal craft, you must visit http://www.theindianhandicrafts.com.
The author invites you to visit:
http://www.theindianhandicrafts.com




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Thu May 13, 2010 9:54 am
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