With the disappearance of the relevancy of this hand fan (Pankha) craft in India, the tradition deeply rooted and tied to India’s craft culture is starting to wither away
Moonj is harvested in the months of October and November. Women weave and compose baskets for their household utility and also to form a part of a bride’s trousseau. This is largely carried out as a secondary occupation to agriculture in Uttar Pradesh.
a few artisans in sarangpur, Madhya Pradesh, who are making nutcrackers they were so fascinated by. The students watch wide-eyed as a pair of metal-smiths forge a piece of metal and file the head into an L-shape, one of them controlling the forge while holding the article..
Things like precious pearls and gems, pure gold and silver wires, ivory and rare animal fur, feathers and shiny beetle wings were used. In the making of the Jama ( A dress ) especially, the gota patti work incorporated a unique kind of sequin made from Elytron or the fore-wing of the Jewel-Beetle that belongs to Buprestidae family.
Dhalapathara saree used to be the first choice of everyone. Dhalapathara, literally meaning white stone, was at its peak from late 1800s to mid 1900s. It was a regular at weekly markets of Bhubhuneshwar, Calcutta, Sonepat, even in Madhya Pradesh during the 1950s. Oh! the traders from Kolkata used to drool over these Dhalapathara sarees!
The cultural representation of bullock cart has led us to visualise it with a bullock carrying a cart on its shoulders with two wheels attached. But owing to diverse topography, different breeds of bullock and the purpose they serve, the design of the carts have to be customised uniquely.
In recent times, Pattachitra is used to depict and spread awareness about recent historical events like The French Revolution, World Wars, Bengal Plagues, Freedom Struggle among others. But the most interesting point to observe here is that all the characters of these images have Bengali physical features...
The desire to communicate messages, ideas and stories through the means of visual depiction is a phenomenon, filled with the aroma of antiqueness. One can perhaps suggest that the role of ink became pivotal the very moment there were ‘writings’ on the walls.
This trade route vibrantly flourished till about 1200 BCE and collapsed thereafter due to war, strife and political instability. Both trade and stories were lost. Incidentally, around the same time, the glass-bead making industry in India was blossoming in several regions...
The pieces spin once again to apply the coat of lacquer. The sticks of Lac are pressed against the constantly moving surface. The friction of it begins melting the sticks and colour blooms onto the wood as the Lac sticks to it. If the natural colours do not suffice, the artisans turn to acrylics...
The process of bronze casting is, in itself, a very spiritual experience. A Sthapathi is expected to be well-versed in the Neetisaram, Amaram, Shilpasaaram, and the Dhyan shlokas. He recites these shlokas and lets the aura of God guide him and help conceive the deity’s form in his mind.
As old as civilisation, the tradition of narrating stories with the help of puppets has been a great source of entertainment and knowledge. Bringing down stories from generation to generation, the storyteller (sutradhara – holder of strings) acquires a vital role in puppet shows.
Gaatha brings to you, traditional handicrafts and the culture behind them, directly from the very home of the Indian artisan.