Dr. V.K.Maheshwari, M.A(Socio, Phil) B.Sc. M. Ed, Ph.D.
Former Principal, K.L.D.A.V.(P.G) College, Roorkee, India
The great German Indologist Max Muller said: “If I were to look over the whole world to find out the country most richly endowed with all the wealth, power and beauty that nature can bestow – in some parts a very paradise on earth – I should point to India . If I were asked under what sky the human mind has most fully developed the choicest gifts, has most deeply pondered on the greatest problems of life, and has found solution of some of them, which well deserve the attention even of those who have studied Plato and Kant – I should point to India.”
The story of Indian Arts & Handicrafts comes from one the oldest civilizations of the world. The vast cultural and ethnic diversity has enabled a variety of motifs, techniques and crafts to flourish on this land. Born of centuries old craftsmanship, the history varies designs and motifs that have fascinated the people the world over. Unique in their style reflects the mood in Indian heritage
ANDHRA PRADESH- ARTS AND CRAFTS
The Telugu people are patrons of arts and crafts and they are pioneers in the field of metal ware, carpets, wood and stone carving, exquisite silver filigree, brass and sheet metalware. Kalamkari, Bidri, Nirmal paintings, fascinating weaves from Pochampalli, Gadwal, Venkatagiri and a number of other centres have earned a name all over the world. Kalamkari is supposed to be famous worldwide which is done using a quill and printing is done on the fabric with vegetable dye. The Bathik print which is done using wax and prints are made on the fabrics. Bathik prints are used to print in sarees, dress materials and also on wall hangings. Another traditional craft practiced by the Telugu people is the Cherial Scroll paintings done on cloth using earthen colours.
ARUNACHAL PRADESH- ART AND CRAFT
Handloom forms an integral part of the culture and tradition, which is reflected in the State’s apparels. Some of these are unique Handloom products in artists weaving and design. Most of the Women folk of the state have been engaged in Handloom sector treated as primary occupation. A wide variety of crafts such as weaving painting, pottery, smithy work, basketry, woodcarving etc. are found among the people of Arunachal Pradesh. Bamboo and Cane handicrafts produced in Arunachal Pradesh.
The unique, and artistic indigenous wood carving articles are available of Tirap, Upper & West Siang, Lohit and Tawang. Traditional Male and Female Wooden figure are depicted as main subject, warriors / head hunters are popular in Tirap District .
Beads ornaments of various types are found in all over Arunachal Pradesh .All type of ornaments viz. Necklace Wrist band, Waist band , Head gear, earring are made with beautiful geometrical pattern used both by male and female.”GRASS NECKLACE” making practiced by female folk of Wangcho tribe of Tirap District. Practiced by women folk of Wangcho tribe of Tirap District. Major raw material is cotton yarn and acrylic yarn purchased from market, combinedly wooven in a colourful geometrical pattern.The traditional Cane Bamboo product are mainly available in the Districts of East Kameng. Papumpare, Changlang, Upper and Lower Subansiri, East and West Siang, Lohit and Dibang Valley which represents high premium on design, quality, local technology and focus cultural indentity.
The carpet making is one of the important occupation in the districts of Tawang, West Kameng, Changlang, Upper Siang. The women folk are engaged in this trade
Tangkha painting in one of the most artistic craft, it is prevalent mainly in Buddhist dominated area like Tawang, West kameng, Upper Siang Districts. The motif of the painting is mostly religious subject along with traditional value.
ASSAM- ARTS AND CRAFTS
Assamese are known for their traditional crafts which includes Bell and brass metal crafts. Apart from these the Assamese are also noted for their Cane and bamboo craft, silk and cotton weaving, toy and mask making, pottery and terracotta work, wood craft, jewellery making, musical instruments making, etc. They also excel in ivory crafts, colours and paints, articles of lac, agarwood products and traditional building materials. Moreover, various ethno-cultural groups in Assam make different types of cotton garments with unique embroidery designs and wonderful color combinations.
BIHAR- ART AND CRAFT
One of the art forms of Bihar, the Madhubani School of Painting, has lately received much attention and poularity. There are quite a few websites devoted to Madhubani painting. Hence their effort will not be duplicated here. Rather, the viewer is encouraged to visit one very scholarly of these sites.
Mention must be made of the Patna School of Painting or the Patna Qalaam, which sadly does not exist any more. This offshoot of the well-know Mughal Miniature School of Painting flourished in Bihar during early 18th to mid 20th century. This was not just an artistic expansion, but was indeed a shrewd move! It not only enriched the style of painting, but also brought commercial success among the common citizens including British officers and their wives. It is, of course, not the purpose of this short narrative to give a detailed account of this lovely and distinct art form that flourished in Bihar for almost two centuries.
The artisans of Bihar have been very skilful in creatings articles from local materials. Baskets, cups and saucers made from bamboo-strips or cane reed are painted in vivid colors are common articles found in Bihari homes. A special container woven out of sikki grass in the north, the “pauti”,pauti and other containers.jpg (87637 bytes) is a sentimental gift that accompanies a bride when she leaves her home after her wedding. Indeed, for the bride, next to the wooden container for “sindoor” (=vermillion), namely, the “sinhora”, this is a precious gift that she treasures for her entire life.
Bhagalpur [to map] is well known for its seri-culture, manufacture of silk yarn and weaving them into lovely products. This silk is of a distinct and special type. It is known as the tussah or tusser silk.
CHHATTISGARH- ARTS AND CRAFTS
Chhattisgarh is known for “Kosa silk” and “lost wax art”. The tribals of Chhattisgarh do intrinsic work to make toran, place mats and boxes with the help of shells, mirrors and fabric. The fibre which is got from the seeds of the marshes with a beautiful ivory colour is used in making potholders, mats, hammocks, bags and dolls. Since Chhattisgarh in abundant in bamboo the people are involved in building houses, bows and arrows, baskets, fish and bird traps and a lot of agricultural tools. Chhattisgarh is also known for its handloom product, Dhruva patta or the Dhruva Sari.
GOA- ART AND CRAFT
The art and craft of Goa, like its culture has come out of a blend of Indo-Portuguese art forms.
While pottery is art of traditional form made with earthen clay, terracotta is ceramic clay. These are the traditional crafts forms of Goa. Utility cum decorative items are made out of these such as flower garden pots, pen holders, ashtrays, bowls, statues of saints and goddesses. They also draw inspiration from religious or historical themes. Borde and Bicholim are two famous centres of earthenware, though pottery is made all over Goa.
Brass items are very famous with samais. Its used mainly for casting decorative items like oil lamps, church bells, candle stands, ashtrays and temple towers etc.
Wood turning is a form of woodcarving that is used to create wooden objects (e.g. a bowl or a table leg) on a lathe using cutting tools.
The importance of crochet in Goa can be realized by the fact that every bride brings her crochet and embroidery work as dowry which is then displayed to demonstrate her expertise in the craft. Crochet and embroidery in Goa is inherent to every household where it is passed from one generation to another.
Bamboo craft initially was more of a utility based thing where in ‘mahras’, a scheduled community made items required by farmers and fishermen. They made things to store food grains, sell fish.
HARYANA- ARTS AND CRAFTS
Panipat, a major textile town in Haryana is noted for its rugs and upholstery fabric. Other handicrafts of the people of Haryana include woven furniture, artistic pottery and woodcarving. The furniture produced by the people are quite famous and they are woven furniture – modhas (round stools) and chairs made of sarkande (a reed) from Faroukhnagar; and pidhis from Sonepat, which are essentially wooden stools with seats woven in cotton thread or sutli.
HIMANCHAL PRADESH- ART AND CRAFTS
The people of Himachal Pradesh are known for their wooden crafts because the region has abundance of trees like Pine, Cedrus deodar, walnut, horse chestnut and wild black mulberry which are used for craft work and carvings of doors, windows, balcony panels, etc.They are also known for metal craft. Antique metal statuettes are one of the most significant aspects in many temples of Himachal Pradesh. The statues of gods and goddesses also appear as mohras or in metal plaques. Household utensils are made using brass which is very famous. They are also involved in making things from bamboo items like boxes, sofas, chairs, baskets and rack. Pashmina shawl and the colourful Himalayan caps are in demand in overseas also.
JAMMU AND KASHMIR- ARTS AND CRAFTS
The Kashmiris are known for their handicrafts. The Kashmiri carpets and shawls are famous across the world. Carpets are usually hand knotted and is either made of silk or wool with lots of Persian influence on it bearing floral designs. The namdas or the woollen rugs are designed by colorful chain stitch embroidery which is weaved by wool and cotton fibres.Other handicraft item made by the Kashmiris include basketry, carved wooden furniture made from walnut wood and beaten silver and copper ware. The Kashmiri shawls usually made of cashmere wool or the soft Pashmina wool or the shahtoosh are very expensive and worldwide famous.
JHARKHUND- ART AND CRAFT
The state of Jharkhand is known for its Art, Craft and Culture. Various generations of communities, who inhabited the land since ages, dreamt about, shaped and polished the cultural sky of the state.
The impression on the region’s culture Jharkhand has been made by over 32 tribal groups including Asurs, Santhals, Banjara, Bihor, Chero, Gond, Ho, Khond, Lohra, Mai Pahariya, Munda, Oraon, Kol or Kawar. This total covers over 28% of the total population of the state. You can also easily observe the cross-cultural influences of local nontribal communities and the followers of Buddhism and Jainism, Mughal rule and the reign Hindu emperors of Bengal .
The oldest cave paintings in India – ‘scroll paintings’ – have been attributed to a Jharkhand tribe by the art historians. This tribe is referred as Shabars, which is now living on the edge of extinction. According to an established fact, Stone Age tools discovered in Hazaribagh District and axes and spearheads found in the Chaibasa Area of the state are remains of a civilization that dates back some thousand years. In the state, you can find in abundance the 10,000 to 30,000 years old rock paintings, paintings in huge caves in the Sati hills and other indicators of ancient, even pre-historic, human settlements
KARNATAK- ART AND CRAFT
Bhootha Aradhane, Harige, Naga Nrutya and Vatte Kola- No less interesting is the Bhootha Aradhane or devil worship, very common in the coastal towns of Karnataka. Doll making is another craft famous in Karnataka evenly arranged on wooden platforms, decorated and displayed during the nine day DussheraThe worship of spirits-the bhuta cult-in the coastal districts has confident the making of huge wooden idols, some of which are kept outside villages as guardians of the inhabitants.Ivory Carving- Ivory carving is another well-liked craft prevailing in the entire state. The story of Karnataka’s arts and crafts is never comprehensive without a reference to the traditional Mysore paintings.
Metal Ware- Bidar in Karnataka, is a famous for bidriware-a craft done on a metal plate of zinc, copper, tin and lead.
Sandal wood is native to the deciduous forests of Karnataka. Intricate carving in sandal wood has been practiced in Karnataka for over 1000 years. Shilpis the stone carvers of Karnataka are supreme of all, they had won the master crafts-man awards at the national level
MADHYA PRADESH- ART AND CRAFTS
Utility and ornamental objects deftly whittled from bamboo and cane, by people belonging to the Baiga, Gond, and Korku tribal communities of the region, are very popular. Traditional floor coverings of Madhya Pradesh include durries and carpets. Durries are thick cotton fabrics knitted in a variety of designs, with bold patterns.The wall paintings of Bundelkhand, Gondwana, Nimar and Malwa constitute a major chunk of the folk paintings of Madhya Pradesh., Lipai paintings and Pithora paintings are splendid examples of folk paintings of the region.Iron crafting is a traditional skill that the craftsmen in the remote villages of Madhya Pradesh have mastered formany generations. Iron ore extracted from local mines are molded into desired shapes. The ingenious metal artisanship of the craftsmen of Madhya Pradesh is legendary. Inventive designs are curved into metals and shaped into boxes, figurines & ornamental statuettes.
The versatility of jute comes alive in the traditional handicrafts of Madhya Pradesh. The rugged and unfinished texture of the fiber has its unique charm.Ornaments from gold, silver, bronze to alloys, the tribal people here make use of various metals to adorn themselves. The beauty of papier mache is demonstrated through ornate items like birds, animals, statues and vases. Ujjain, being the major center of this traditional art, makes use of natural colors to simulate and create immaculate replicas of living birds. The temples of Vidisha and Khajuraho and the monuments of Orchha and Gwalior are living examples of the imaginative and individualistic architectural magnificence of artisans here. Gwalior is renowned for latticework, while Jabalpur & Tikamgarh are famous for decorative pieces.Generally, terracotta artifacts are available in a variety of colors like red, pink, brown and grey. In some places, like Sarguja, Raipur and Rajgarh, exquisite terracotta tiles adorn the roofs of various homes.Various forms of printing include Block printing, Nandana printing, Bagh printing, Bandhani printing and Batik printing. Apart from excellence in the field of printing.Woodcraft items include toys, boxes, bedposts, flower vases, wall hangings, candle stands and the like. Embellished wooden ceilings, doors and window frames form popular items of home décor.Though the origin of zari work date back to about 300 years, it still preserves its inherent and exquisite charm. Earlier, used to embellish traditional items, zari work today finds a niche in the contemporary market.
MAHARASHTRA- ART AND CRAFT
The fine fabrics of mashru and himroo are the clear examples of their highest level of weaving art.
Bidriware is another well-appreciated craft of this state. It takes lots of skills and time in preparation. The district of Kolhapur gives two most famous things – jewellery and Kolhapuri chappals. Kolhapuri chappals are known for its quality, comfortability and low price. Then come the paintings of warli tribes of Mumbai.
The expertise of the artisans of Maharashtra can be seen in the fine art and craft finishes. The fine fabrics of mashru and himroo are the clear examples of their highest level of weaving art.Hand-made leather chappals and sandals of Kolhapur district of Maharashtra are world famousKolhapur is famous for its special type of necklace called Kolhapur saaj. This jewellery is very much special for Maharashtrian women. Narayan Peth saree is very much popular in and around Sholapur district of Maharashtra. Paithani saree took its name from a place called Paithan, where it started producing 2000 years ago. This saree is made of silk with an ornamented zari pallav and border. Warli paintings are the tribal wall paintings of the warli tribes of Maharashtra. Warlis are the largest tribes of Maharashtra live in northern outskirts of Mumbai
KERALA- ARTS AND CRAFTS
Kerala and the keralites are known for Ayurveda and ite related medicines. Today, it is a unique, indispensable branch of medicine, a complete naturalistic system that depends on the diagnosis of your body’s humours, vata, pitta and kapha – to achieve the right balance. Kerala is also known as the Land of Ayurveda. The people of Kerala are known for their handicraft items especially the carvings in rosewood and sandalwood. Kerala also gets a unique identity of colouring or painting the body parts with henna and related colours.
MANIPUR- ARTS AND CRAFTS
The Manipuris are known for their arts and culture. The rich culture and tradition of the Manipuris are also depicted in their handloom clothes and handicrafts. The Manipuri handloom and handicraft are world famous for its craftsmanship as well as ingenuity, colorfulness and usefulness. The people are known for their world famous renowned Manipuri style of dancing. The Manipuri style of dance whether be it folk, classical, modern or devotional is quite distinct from other Indian dance forms. They have a graceful rhythm and the dance being highly artistic and aesthetic is even more captivating with their exotic costumes. The Manipuri saris, bed sheets, tribal shawls, dance doll, cane and bamboo work, wood carving, mats made of water reed and curtains are very famous across the country. Some of the most popular dances of the Manipuri are Khamba Thoibi Dance, Pung Cholom, Maibi Dance, Nupa Pala and Ras Lila.
WEST BENGAL- ART AND CRAFT
Alpana Floor Drawings are related to ancient magic cults. These drawings are also used for decorative purpose, in the modern times.In West Bengal, Chikankari is an embroidery work which is practiced. It is done by using white cotton thread on fine white muslin. Fabri Dhokra Craft indicates variety of beautifully shaped and decorated brassware products created by the lost wax process. Dolls are used by children and for decorative purposes and made with small cloth, cotton & wool. Root from a Japanese influence, this craft has lately gained immense popularity in Bengal.Bengal is a major producer of jute goods ranging from pllush jute-blended carpets, to decorative tapestries, garden pot hangings, decorative hand bags, bedspreads etc.
In Kalighat Paintings, the artists originally set up their practice, around Kalighat Temple in Kolkata on the banks of the Hooghly.In Bengal, masks actually represent the theatrical tradition are used by the Chhou dancers of Purulia and those who perform the Gambhira dances of Malda.
In various colors such as red, orange, brown, black and cream, Handmade pottery mainly consisted of different types of bowls, jars, vessels, etc. In West Bengal, Wood is widely used for making toys and decorative panels. Image made in wood relate back to traditional icons, deities some of them stylised to a modern look
UTTARAKHUND- ART AND CRAFT
Though the state features a wide range of artistic activities, one craft that is most popular is wood carving. Apart from wood carvings, other key forms of craft in the state include painting, jewelry making, candle making etc.
Uttarakhand has numerous temples where you can explore the artistry in wood carvings. The Devalgarh Temple, The Temple of Srinagar-Garhwal and the Devi Madin are some of the prominent places where you can see some excellent examples of wood carvings.
Uttaranchal or specifically, Garhwal is home to one of the most beautiful and defining ‘Gharanas’ of miniature paintings known as “The Garhwal School of Painting. Temple architecture in any part of India has always been patronized by the kings and people ruling there as a way to leave an imprint on the pages of histor. The rulers of ancient time built some of the intricately carved and exquisite places of worship. Murals, in the form of wall paintings or Aipan, are a window to the cultural richness of the state. Murals also have a lot of religious significance. The fine arts of Uttaranchal are decidedly geometric with a natural grace and simplified complexity. Rangoli, a traditional Indian art displayed in front of the house, makes up a sacred and age-old practice. Aipan is one of the conventional forms of Uttarakhand rangoli, mainly practiced in the state of Uttarakhand. The art has cultural as well as religious implication in the life of the people
UTTAR PRADESH- ART AND CRAFT
The Stone Craft of Uttar Pradesh has flourished due to the Muslim rulers of the state especially Mughals. The Taj Mahal in Agra is an excellent example of this craft. The other main cities include Agra, Varanasi and Fatehpur Sikri.Thin marble slabs/stones are etched for hours to give them a meaningful shape and design. Intricate carvings are made by hour long chiselling. Pottery is popular throughout the state. However, potters of Meerut, Khurja and Hapur are more skilled in it. In fact, the history of Khurja pottery is nearly 600years old. Surahi, a vessel with long neck is the most popular item created through pottery. It is used in summers to keep the water cool. Similarly wood carving work at Saharanpur is famous world wide.
Chikankari or chikan work is synonymous to the city Lucknow. It is basically skilful embroidery done on fabric using white thread.There are two main types of Chikan embroidery- flat and embossed. Flat embroidery involves simple sewing sans any loops or knots in threads. Bukhia and Katawa are the two famous styles under flat embroidery. Bukhia embroidery is basically stitches made in v-shape while Katawa includes motifs cut from same fabric on which it is stitched to give an opaque appearance.
Zari or Zardosi embroidery is famous in Varanasi. Rich golden threads are used to create beautiful designs and patterns on saris and other dress materials. Banarasi sarees are famous for their zari work. The traditional thread work is done using real thread of gold and silver which makes the fabric expensive. Beads and stones are the other embellishments used in stitching..Firozabad is famous for glassware especially the colourful glass bangles. Huge machines are used to create items like utensils, pots and myriad of toys. ‘Firozabad’ is also called as the ‘City of bangles’.
Carpet weaving is another most famous handicraft practised in. Bhadohi city.It is one of the oldest craft in the country. Farrukhabad city is lauded for it. Traditional patterns like butis (polka dots) and the ‘tree of life’ are made by hands on this fabric. ‘Paisley pattern’ also famed as ‘Mango’ or ‘Persian pickles’ are the droplet shaped motif created using the butis
TRIPURA- ART AND CRAFT
Handloom is the prime craft of Tripura. Intricately designed handlooms and silk, cane and bamboo works are the main form of art and craft industries. The obvious feature of Tripura handloom is vertical and horizontal stripes with distributed embroidery in multiple colours. Handlooms. Cane and bamboo craft of Tripura is also globally accepted. Simple materials such as bamboo, cane, palm leaves and ordinary yarn are used to create a fascinating variety of handiwork. Popular handicraft items are bamboo screens, lamp stands, tablemats, sitalpati, woodcarving, silver ornaments and other crafts that are practiced. One can also find simple work of brass and bell metal articles in Tripura. Furniture, toys, objects of daily utility such as lamp shades, baskets, calendars, ivory work and Tripuran tribal jewellery, make shopping here a delightful experience.
TAMIL NADU- ART AND CRAFT
The Tanjore paintings are a hallmark of India’s rich cultural legacy. Painted in vibrant shades embellishedin colorful semi-precious stones, pearls, glass pieces and gold, they form some of the world’s masterpieces done on surfaces of wood, mica or ivory. The paintings also adorn the ornate pillars, elaborately decorated canopies and garlands of ropes and chandeliers.Tamil Nadu, the center of South India’s cultural extravaganza had exhibited a distinctive brilliance in its stone carvings during the commencement days of ancient Indian history.
Among the relics of Tamil Nadu’s stone carvings that have been excavated from archeological sites, the granite figurines and statuettes deserve special mention. Contemporary granite carving is confined mainly around Mamallapuram and Chingleput, with the leading sculptors hailing from the local Vishwakarma or Kammaalar communities.
Woodcraft is a burgeoning revenue generating industry in Tamil Nadu.Tamil Nadu’s basket and fiber products are aesthetically appealing and very much in vogue all over the country and abroad. Palm trees along with bamboo shoots, cane, grass and reeds form a major ingredient of Tamil Nadu’s wood works and relate basket products. Besides the wooden barks, the coconut fibers are used to make common utility products like baskets, ropes, mats and other miscellaneous items.
Tamil Nadu abounds in cultural splendor that is manifested in its efflorescent art and culture. No woman’s trousseau is complete without a dash of sparkling jewelry. In ancient Tamil Nadu, diamonds and other precious stones were a man and woman’s best friend alike.
The art and culture of Tamil Nadu flourished under the benefaction of the ancient monarchs who were lovers of art and patronized the ancient craftsmen. Music and dance dominate Tamil Nadu’s cultural scenario. A natural ramification of this led to the establishment of musical instrument making shops and industries. A vast majority of these centers are situated around Thanjavur.Archeologists have excavated relics of South Indian pottery. They are mainly made of terracotta moulds painted in a rich brown color. The ancient pottery reflects the country’s legacy as well as the sophistication and cultural refinement of the ancient people.
SIKKIM- ART AND CRAFT
People of Sikkim seem to be born with exceptional skill required for craft making. You will find some of the most beautiful woolen items like woven woolen carpets and woolen blankets along with other items like Sikkimese motifs, and table called Choktse. From ages, craft items of Sikkim have generated a lot of market in India Development has definitely taken place in Sikkim, but the people of Sikkim prefer the olden ways as it more cheap, better quality and way more rewardingWoolen Carpets
Woolen Carpets are without a doubt the most famous offering to come out of Sikkim. It is also probably the oldest form of carpet weaving in the world. Floral motifs are also quite popular among the people here. You will also see styles taken from Buddhist Iconography and geometrical patterns.
The best place to witness the skill of Sikkimese people in wood carving are the many monasteries in Sikkim. From top to bottom, there is lavish use of carved wood in these monasteries. The wood in the monasteries are engrossed with symbols and icons from Buddhism. Another well known wooden product from Sikkim that is famous all over India is Choktse tables. Thangka Paintings were and still are an item of reverence among the people of Sikkim. There are generally three types of thangkas all of which are spiritual in natureThangkas are generally made on cotton canvas with vegetable dyes as colors. Earlier, thangkas were made only by monks and priests. People of Sikkim save a lot on wool and money by designing the old and used woolen blanket into bags, shawls, jackets and many dolls. You will be amazed to see the fashion that young generation of Sikkim sport. Not only are they up to date with fashion industry, you can spot some uniquely fashionable clothings. Government has opened some cottage industries in the state to promote and help people grow in hand looms
RAJASTHAN- ART AND CRAFT
Rajasthan is among the richest states in the country so far as the field of arts and crafts in concerned. May be it was a result of the war-like lifestyle of the people of Rajasthan which sharpened the creative senses, artistic skills and inspired them to create the most opulent and richest of treasures. Stone, clay, leather, wood, ivory, lac, glass, brass, silver, gold and textiles were given the most brilliant forms.
Today, Rajasthan has earned a immense popularity, due to its rich handicrafts, which is also a striking part of the Rajasthan culture.History of Rajasthan reveals that the kings and their nobles were patrons of arts and crafts they encouraged their craftsman in activities ranging from wood and marvel carving to weaving, pottery and painting. The horses and elephants that took the warriors to battles received the same care jewelled saddles and intricate silver jewellery was just some of the ornaments that were used to adorn them.
For women there was infinite variety tie and dye fabrics, embroidered garments, enamel jewellery inlayed with precious and semi-precious stones, leather jootis. They put their lives indoors to very good use by decorating their surroundings on the walls of their mud-huts were painted geometric designs as well as simple motifs like flowers and birds. Also the women-folk made intricate patterns on floors, shaped straw and twine to turn into the most beautiful as well as functional items plus delayed great talents with the needle and thread and papier mache.
Meenakari art prospered over the years and is today renowed the world over. Jaipur meenakari is famed for its delicacy and its use of colours. Pratapgarh and Nathdwara are two other centres which produce fine quality enamel work.
Rajasthan is rich in jewellery, each area having its own unique style. Some of the traditional designs are rakhri, timaniyan, bala, bajuband, gajra, gokhru, jod, etc. Tribal women wear heavy, simply, crafted jewellery and seem to carry the weight (almost up to 5 kgs ) without much discomfort almost all the time. Men too wear their share of ornaments in the form of chockers and earrings.The ivory bangles that most Rajasthani women wear are considered auspicious. Ivory is also inlaid and shaped into intricate items of great beauty. Miniature paintings were also executed on ivory. Lac bangles are made in bright colours and sometimes inlaid with glass
Sandalwood and Wood, Carved wood is presented in a wide range of objects and is simple and inexpensive.
Statues on religious themes are carved all over Rajasthan and in several cities there are still entire lanes where the stone carvers can be seen giving final touches to statues or even pillars.
Hand-block Prints hued in the vegetable colours, the floral beauty of hand-blocks prints are of world wide fame.Lacquer and filigree work of Lac jewellery and bangles much famous in all over India.
Rajasthani Mehandi decoration, once dominated the fashion market of the world in the late 1990s. These multi-hued dazzling clothes have been captivating the heart of the entire world for centuries. Exquisite miniature effigies are still keeping the age-old heritage of terracotta tradition alive. Puppets made of wood and cotton is the finest art of Rajasthan. Excellent artifacts made of Jaipur marbles are famous world wide. Spectacular miniature paintings of Rajasthan are renowned world over. Deft needlework studded with mirror in bright colours is the specialty of Rajasthani embroidery. Shekhawati is famous for its bright wall painting making it a popular tourist destination.
PUNJAB- ART AND CRAFT
Arts & Crafts of PunjabPunjab has a rich tradition of arts and crafts. The richness of the land is reflected in its handicraft. The people of Punjab lay much importance on their artistry and the minute details of their work.
Metalwork is also very popular in Punjab. Utensils made of metals are used in households, as also for religious purposes. Carpenters in the state make Peeras or Peerians, decorative boxes, pidhis and toys of wood, which are very popular in the whole of North India. Thin straws of glass are used for basketry works, which is another Punjabi craft that is immensely popular. Mats, rugs, carpets, curtains and hand fans are woven using these straws. Embroidery is another extensively followed work of art, known in the state by various local names. Phulkari, an intricate needle work, is extremely popular and is mainly taken up by village girls.
Basketry is a longstanding handicraft followed in most parts of Punjab. Durries are the flat woven rugs that are functional as well as striking in nature. They are used either as carpets on the floor or as bed sheets. Folk toys of Punjab are the products of the perfect amalgamation of artistry and social valueJuttis of Punjab.Punjabi juttis represent the traditional footwear of Punjab, which is known worldwide for its exquisite design and intricate pattern..Mud work is an ancient handicraft of Punjab, which is popular in the state till date.Punjabis have a special art called Chowk-Poorna, which involves the plastering of the house walls with mud and then decorating them with eye-catching designs.
Paranda is one of the traditional handicrafts of Punjab. It is a colorful hanging worn by the Punjabi women in their hair. They are made out of a bunch of silk threads, intricately woven with other skillful works. ‘Phulkari’, literally meaning the flower working, is designed to enhance the beauty of attire. It is an art form, in which exquisite embroidery is done over shawls, dupattas and headscarves, in a simple and sparse design.Punjab is well known for its artistic woodwork. Punjabi carpenters are highly skilled in making strong, durable and at the same time, visually attractive furniture. Their specialty lies in making a creative bed that has the back fitted with mirrors and has beautifully carved, colorful legs called pawas.
ODISHA- ARTS AND CRAFTS
The music of Odisha is said to be as old as 2500 years which contributes a major percentage to the cultural heritage of the people of Odisha. Odissi is the lyrical form of dance which is very famous across the globe. It is a traditional form of classical dance and belonged to the ‘Devadasi’ cult, wherein young women were ‘married’ to gods and remained in the service of the temple, worshipping their lord and master. Chhau Dance, Danda Dance, Ghoomra Dance, Animal Mask Dance, Kathi Dance, Kedu Dance, Ranapa Dance, Paika Dance, and various tribal Dances contribute to other subtle dance forms and style of the people of Odisha. Among the tribal community and in the rural part of the state Baunsa Rani circus is very famous. Other theatrical performances include Pala and Daskathia.The people were very much patronized by the Kings for their artistic performances and this led to creativity by the artists in various fields and has passed on to ages. Some of the most famous Oriya paintings are the Bhitichitra or the murals, the Patachitra or the cloth painting and the Pothichitra or the palm leaf engraving .These paintings mainly uses motifs and themes based on folklores, legends and myths. The people of Odisha are very famous for their applique work which is a method of art involving super imposing patches of colored cloth on a fabric base to create bright and vivid bedcovers, garden umbrellas, wall hangings and hand fan,s etc.
NAGALAND- ART AND CRAFT
Art and Craft of NagalandArt and Craft of Nagaland are vibrant and possess a great variety. Nagas, the tribal inhabitants of Nagaland, have always lived in harmony with their environment and their ancient tradition of art and craft reflects the same.
The magnificent village gates, traditional Naga huts, also known as Morungs, and house posts are some of the testaments of their brilliant craftsmanship. Other beautiful specimens of the Art and Craft of Nagaland include wicker drinking vessels, storage baskets and containers. These fine crafts are carved out by the artisans by utilizing natural products such as barks, wood, dyes etc. Clothes of vivid colours are also a distinguishing artefact of this region.
Weaving is a popular activity among the Naga women. Jackets, bags and colourful shawls are commonly weaved by a number of craftsmen. For weaving, usually loin loom is used, however fly shuttle loom has also gained popularity over years. Unique colour schemes and patterns are used by different tribes of the state and the motifs generally comprises of tribal folklore. Dyes were previously extracted from plants, roots and barks.. Basketry is also famous in Nagaland which is usually carried out by the tribal women. These are composed of fine strips of bamboo and cane. Baskets of different villages have distinguished beauty. Khonoma village is popular for baskets of fine and elaborate designs. Khiamngan weavers of Tuensang District weave baskets having delicate designs and lace like appearances. Bamboo and canes are also used to make mats and headgears. Local markets as well as markets outside the state are immensely benefited by these crafts. Woodcarving by Nagas is the testament of their brilliant craftsmanship. Simple implements like hand drill, local dao and chisel are used to prepare beautiful specimens for utilitarian as well as decorative purposes
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Arunima Maheshwari for being the scribe of this article.