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.
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.
Gaatha brings to you, traditional handicrafts and the culture behind them, directly from the very home of the Indian artisan.