Arts and Crafts
The Dhokra or Dokra is a beautiful form of tribal art that showcases the immense talent of tribal craftsmen. Various types of ornaments and brilliant home decor items, idols of gods and goddess can be made of Dokra. The system of metal casting is being used in Dokra art is considered to be the oldest form of metal casting and it is known as ‘cire perdue’ technically. Bikna village of Bankura district is the home to this majestic art.
Decorate your home with the aristocrat touch of Terracotta Craft. Terracotta means ‘baked earth’ and it has been used to produce decorative art works as well as construction works since ancient times. Terracotta tiles are being used in exterior and interior decoration of buildings these days and have gained incredible popularity in no time. Take a tour to Panchmura village which is the home to famous terracotta industry. Get a live demonstration on terracotta crafts and take beautiful souvenirs or jewellery to gift your near and dear ones. These beautiful artworks are mainly concentrated in Bishnupur and Panchmura of Bankura District.
Enhance the grace of your drawing room with the long-necked Terracotta Horse which is the logo of All India Handicrafts. You will see that the horse comes in seven separated body parts like a hollow long neck, four legs, face, ears, tail etc. You have to assemble those parts to get a horse like structure. The leaf like long ears and decorative body are definitely a sign of elegance and pride.
Bishnupur is famous for Baluchari sarees. The world famous Baluchari- design was inspired by the terracotta tiles of the temples. Mythological stories, tribal life style and social lifestyle have been reflected in Baluchari designs.
The famous indoor game played by Malla kings of Bishnupur was ‘Dashabatar Tash’ and it is internationally famous as a collector’s item. This card game was invented by Malla king Veer Hambir and was based on the ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu. The Dashabatar cards comprise of 10 suits of 12 cards each. Presently, the Foujdar family of Bishnupur is the only practitioners of this unique folk art. They make the cards using cloth, the glue of tamarind seeds, chalk dust, colours, vermilion and lac.
The Lantern industry is also very much popular in Bishnupur. You can buy these beautiful lanterns to use as collector’s items. The lanterns are used in luxurious hotels, offices, houses as home decors. It is considered to be a beautiful gift item as well.
The Conch shell industry is very famous in Bankura district. The people known as ‘Shankhabaniks’ or ‘Sankharis’ used to make designer conch bangles or ‘Sankha’ for married Hindu ladies. They also manufacture different types of blowing conches using intricate patterns and designs. The skilled artisans beautifully design miniature forms of Gods and Goddess also. Wood carved items consist of different types of images, idols, toys and other decorative products. Bankura and Bishnupur are those places where you will find the talented wood artisans. Local people of Susunia village make artifacts from Sand-stone and deserve extra attention for sure. When you will be exploring Bankura district, you will get amazed to see how talents work here silently and peacefully. Bell Metal craft is inherited from Dhalbhum of Singhabhum area and is concentrated in Bankura- Purulia- Midnapur area in West Bengal. Household utensils and other useful items made of this copper-based alloy are blessed by the talented people addressed as ‘Kansari’.