Craft Heritage of West Bengal
West Bengal is a home rich cultural heritage and many talented artisans. There unique art and crafts is an attraction for art lovers from whole world. There are many old age traditional arts & crafts that are still existed in the state and these crafts have been evolved in manner that they are still relevant present days and the meets the present day’s demands. From embroidery to sculpture and sketching to metal crafts Bengal has specialization in many art forms. Let us discuss some important crafts from west Bengal.
The ancient craft of Dhokra metal casting was once widespread throughout India, but is now restricted to a small number of groups of traditional artisans in widely dispersed locations. Dhokra derives its name from ‘Dhokra Damar’, the metal-smith tribes of Bengal. Dhokra figurines are one of well-known traditional craft of India from West Bengal.
2) Kalighat Paintings
Long time ago, before the prominent rule of Lakshman Sena in West Bengal, there lived a big, grotesque, mighty fearful monster that terrorized and consumed human beings at nightfall. The fight against the monster was an equal match and in fretful fear of this monstrous creature that was slowly devouring the villagers alive, the people of the village rampaged to find a solution. One night, when innovation struck, they built a huge mirror, setting it in front of the monster. In fit of rage, that a monster as big, cruel and grotesque as it existed, it charged at its own reflection, shattering the mirror; Which only resulted in the monster being confronted with many more reflections of itself, believing them to have multiplied he hit his head and wept to his own death. Now the people could live in peace, but – there was lingering fear of how many more monsters are out there?
A big leaf was used to paint the picture of the monster, circulating it from village to village, in order to protect their fellow neighboring villagers. The painter travelled to all these villages, giving them the painting, narrating the tale of the monster he and his village fought, receiving rice, shelter and food to eat, transforming it into a culture and travelling folk craft.
3) Sholapith Craft
Sholapith is a milky-white sponge-wood, used for crafting beautiful decorative pieces. It is also known as 'herbal ivory', as it seems to look like the milky-white items made from ivory. Sholapith is popularly used to craft head-wears of bridal couples, garlands, decorative fans, animals, birds, dolls, Images of gods and Goddesses, elephant-howdahs, peacock-boats, palanquins, flowers various kinds of crowns and backdrop of Durga Pooja stages.