Dokra Metalcraft | 23 Dec 2022

Why in News?

West Bengal's Lalbazaar is not just an art hub, but is also becoming a center for dokra, a popular metalcraft.

What is Dokra?

  • Dokra is a form of ancient bell metal craft practiced by the Ojha metalsmiths living in states like Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, West Bengal and Telangana.
  • However, the style and also the workmanship of this artisan community varies in different states.
  • Dhokra or Dokra, is also known as bell metal craft.
  • The name ‘Dhokra’ comes from the Dhokra Damar tribes, who are the traditional metal smiths of West Bengal.
    • Their technique of lost wax casting is named after their tribe, hence Dhokra metal casting.
      • The Dokra artifacts are made in brass and are unique in that the pieces do not have any joints. The method is combining metallurgical skills with wax techniques employing the lost wax technique, a unique form where mould is used only once and broken, making this art the only one-of-its-kind in the world.
    • The tribe extends from Jharkhand to Orissa to as far ahead to Chattisgarh, Rajasthan and even Kerala.
  • Each figurine takes about a month to make.
  • The dancing girl of Mohenjo-Daro (Harrapan Civilization) is one of the earliest dhokra artefacts that is now known.
  • Dokra Art is still used to craft artefacts, accessories, utensils and jewellery.

What are the Other Crafts?

  • Bronze Crafts:
    • Rare Jain imagery and icons (Karnataka)
    • Pahaldar Lamps (Jaipur and parts of Uttar Pradesh)
    • Pembarthi craft (Telangana)
  • Other Metal Crafts:
    • Marori work of Rajasthan
    • Tarkashi (Rajasthan)
    • Bidri Craft (Karnataka)

UPSC Civil Services Examination, Previous Years Question (PYQ)

Q. Kalamkari painting refers to (2015)

(a) a hand-painted cotton textile in South India

(b) a handmade drawing on bamboo handicrafts in North-East India

(c) a block-painted woollen cloth in Western Himalayan region of India

(d) a hand-painted decorative silk cloth in North-Western India

Ans: (a)

Source: TH