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5 Stunning Lesser-Known Handicrafts from India
India's artistic heritage hides a trove of lesser-known handicrafts, steeped in centuries-old legacies and brimming with captivating beauty. As we celebrate the popularity of textiles, pottery, and jewelry, it is essential to spotlight these hidden gems, lovingly nurtured and passed down through generations of master artisans. These crafts mesmerize with their beauty and carry profound cultural significance, holding the key to the past while embracing the future.
From the vibrant landscapes of Kutch to the lush forests of Madhya Pradesh and beyond, master artisans have toiled to restore and preserve traditional techniques at risk of fading away. Through dedication and passion, crafts like Rogan painting, Bidriware, and Dhokra art have managed to survive the test of time, carrying the torch of their ancestors and inspiring generations to come.
Journeying beyond the familiar, we unravel the mysteries of India's lesser-known handicrafts, marveling at the artistry and immersing ourselves in the stories they tell…
1) Bidriware: Originating from Bidar in Karnataka, Bidriware is a breathtaking metalwork craft that dates back to the 14th century. The craft involves the intricate inlay of silver and gold on a zinc and copper alloy base, creating exquisite patterns and motifs. The metalwork is then oxidized to achieve a striking contrast between the dark background and the shimmering silver designs. Bidriware is used to craft ornate vases, jewelry boxes, and decorative items that reflect the timeless beauty of Indian craftsmanship.
2) Sanjhi: Sanjhi is an awe-inspiring paper-cutting art that originated in the town of Mathura, Uttar Pradesh. Traditionally practiced during the festive season of Diwali, this intricate craft involves creating delicate and symmetrical designs by hand-cutting fine paper. The cuttings are then used as stencils to create mesmerizing rangoli patterns using colored powders. Sanjhi reflects the devotion and skill of the artists, capturing the essence of Indian spirituality.
3) Kansa Utensils: Hailing from the state of Uttar Pradesh, Kansa or bronze utensils have been an integral part of Indian households for centuries. The metal's inherent properties make it an excellent choice for cooking and storing food. Beyond their functionality, Kansa utensils are also adorned with beautiful engravings and embossings, adding an aesthetic appeal to the kitchen. Additionally, the health benefits associated with cooking in Kansa make these handicrafts all the more appealing.
4) Rogan Painting: Originating in the Kutch region of Gujarat, Rogan painting is an ancient textile art that involves using castor oil to create stunning designs on fabric. The artists use a metal stylus, which is heated and then dipped into the colored oil to form intricate motifs on cloth. The oil-based nature of this art form results in vibrant and long-lasting colors. Rogan paintings are often inspired by flora, fauna, and traditional geometric patterns, making them a visual delight and a testament to the mastery of the craftsmen.
5) Dhokra Art: Hailing from various states like Odisha, West Bengal, and Jharkhand, Dhokra art is a mesmerizing form of metal casting that dates back over 4,000 years. Crafted using the lost wax technique, Dhokra art involves creating intricate metal sculptures depicting tribal life, animals, and deities. The rustic appeal and fine craftsmanship of Dhokra art pieces make them a unique and stunning addition to any art collection.