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Dhokra Craft products are cast in bell metal by lost wax process and display an intriguing finish having bell metal wirework. Dokra Metal Craft consists of an alloy of bronze, brass, nickel, and zinc. The minimum to maximum size varies from 1″ (inch) to 14′ (feet). The products consist mainly of showcase and utility items. The designs mainly involve intricate handwork of drawing and arranging of the bell metal wires. Mostly, the Dhokra Products depict the tribal culture, people and their tools, instruments, animals, and nature.
Description of Goods
Dhokra Crafts are made by casting bell metal (brass and bronze) manually through the vanishing wax technique. This Dhokra Handicraft includes items like ornamented animals, tribal figures of varying sizes. The traditional products are mostly decorative items with very little or no utility.
The process of making the molds is as old as the Bastar Art. All the decoration is done on the dyes with wax strings. Wax is the appropriate medium for this craft because of its unique softness and malleability. It can be drawn out in wires of required diameters and can be molded into the desired shapes. The people worship the sun, moon, fields, mountain, jungle, etc. which form a major part of their designs and motifs. They make idols of deities, and puja accessories like bells, oil lamps, incense stick holders, etc. The Dhokra Metal Craft has its very foundation laid in the religious beliefs and practices of the people.
Dhokra Art is a major attraction of Bastar. They are prepared by the Ghadawa community and hence it is also known as Ghadawa art. The Ghadawas are small artisan groups that produce brass or bell metal objects. The name Ghadwa is derived from the world ‘Ghalna”, which means to melt and as these people prepare the craft items by melting the metal using a lost-wax technique, so they are given the name ‘Ghadwa’.
‘Ghadwa’ means the act of shaping and creating, and it is probably this that gives the casters of objects, mainly brass and copper their name. The various stories related to the origin of the name ‘Ghadwa’ only indicate that it was for the very first time awarded by a contemporary king to craftsmen as a token of appreciation. In some regions, the craftsmen are also called ‘Ghasia’, ‘Khaser’, ‘Mangan’ and ‘Vishwakarma”.
Proof of Origin
A craft of Harappa & Mohenjodaro Civilizations. The Famous unearthed Dancing Girl 4500 years ago sheds evidence of the Bastar Dhokra craft, the Bell metal casting using the Bee wax technique.
The artisans used to work for the Royal families of Bastar and make tribal idolatry statues. There were very few artisans at that time. In 1960, after the Bangra-refugee rehabilitation, some I.A.S. and I.C.S. officers were posted in the region for administering the settlement activities. With these officers, some famous leaders and media people were also attracted to visit the place. This filtering-in of people from various regions gave automatic popularity to the Bastar Dhokra Craft and soon the sector found space in newspapers. Even officers who were posted there at that time felt the potential of the craft and tried to develop it further.
Later, a few famous artisans of Bastar were given various state and national level awards. Also during this time, many exhibitions of the Bastar Dhokra Art were organized in various cities of India, which made it move towards highly popular.
The entire process can be divided into five major parts as follows:
The uniqueness of the Craft
The metal images of Bastar are peerless not only for the technique of casting but also for their earthbound expression of life and celebration. The abundance of nature and folk, cultural traditions together form the unique inherent basic fabric of the tribal heritage of Bastar. Folk art, craft, and nature constitute the foundation of the tribal society of Bastar.
This Dhokra Tribal Art reflects vibrant creativity, inventive genius, and imagination of the craftsmen, who have tried to retain the original perception and core concept governing the lifestyle of their ethos.
The tribal people worship the Sun, Moon, Fields, Mountain, Jungle, etc. which form a major part of their designs and motifs. They make idols of deities, and puja accessories like bells, oil lamps, incense stick holders, etc. The Dhokra Craft has its very foundation laid in the religious beliefs and practices of the people. The craft is said to have originated with the first products being temple accessories and Deity idols. All these invariably depict the tribal culture and their expression which is very unique to Bstar Dhokra.
Wax is an important one that gives special uniqueness to Dhokra Craft. Its use produces unique softness and malleability.
GI Tagged offers a huge collection of Bastar Dhokra Handicraft Online. You can feel its elegance and sophistication in various products like Bastar Dhokra Candle Stand, Card Holder, Pen Stand, Showpieces, Pendants, etc.
Visit our showroom if you are looking for a Dhokra Handicraft in Bangalore. We also deal in Dhokra Craft Wholesale.