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Dhokra And Brassware: The Tribal Souvenirs Of Odisha

Indian tribal artworks are accessible with shifted overwhelming choices, strengthening one’s desire to purchase ancestral items. A portion of the different tribal artworks made in Odisha include: antiques, paper mache, ceramics, embroidery, block printing, home décor, jewellery, metal crafts, paper crafts, pottery, puppets, stone and wood works.

Dhokra and Brass wares are among the finest examples of tribal artwork.

A Brief History

Dhokra is an ancient art custom in the eastern parts of Odisha. Dhokra objects are made with the non-ferrous metal ‘lost-wax’ casting procedure. Gathered in two areas in Rayagada region of Southern Odisha in the midst of the mountains of the Eastern Ghats and in Sadeibareni in Dhenkanal, near Bhubaneswar, the state capital, the Dhokra craftsmen of Odisha have been rehearsing lost wax casting techniques since ages, despite the fact that it is hard to state the starting of the art without essential sources.

Koya mask
Koya Mask

The revelation of significant statues of bronze sculptures of Buddhist and Jain divinities at Achuytrajpur close to Chilika Lake recommends that Dhokra making thrived in Odisha during Early Medieval Period. The findings included 92 symbols, the greater part of which are of Buddhist connection, female figures, stupas and Jain Tirthankaras.

Origin and Importance in Odia Culture

The brassware can be easily accessed in the belts of Dhenkanl, Cuttak, Mayurbhanj, Sundergarh, Sambalpur, Koraput, Jaypure, Bharapali, Puri, Behranpur, Narangpur.

The craftsmans additionally make elephants and ponies from metal and improve them with complex structures. Compartments of metal for betel-chewers are planned both to be helpful and fancy. There are family unit articles and utensils made out of metal and chime metal and they are of various shapes and sizes. The brassware of Odisha uncovers the high workmanship of the craftsmen and their style for development.

Metal works of Odisha are produced using the procedure of sand throwing, significantly in Kantilo in Nayagarh region and Balakati close to the Odisha capital. Metal utensils, the exemplary fish puppet, laced snakes, icons of divine beings and goddesses, chimes, gongs, lampstands and lights (diyas) are notable ancient rarities that have supported utility and enriching employments. It is standard for Odia ladies to accept metal utensils as a piece of trousseau after she steps into her in-law’s house for the first time.


Paddy husks or kundaa got from factories are blended in with earth as the coupling operator. Sand secured from stream banks is utilized to shape and form the ideal articles. In light of its non-abrasiveness, it encourages a fair last shape and completing of the items. The dirt is red in shading.

Accuracy in polishing is significant here as well, as the utilization of blemished soil may prompt breaking of the item when warmed. Cow excrement is blended in with the stream soil as it permits the wax to liquefy out of the cast and keeps it from stalling out on to the dirt.

Mould Making
Mould Making (courtesy Virasat-e-Hind Foundation)

Two distinct kinds of wax are utilized, which fill a similar need. The principal type is honey bee wax, which is extricated from the colonies accessible in the woodland, while the subsequent kind is light wax. Since flame wax breaks effectively, it is blended in with picchu (coal tar) and kindling. Charcoal is utilized to set up a blend for covering the layers on the model.

The design is made using wax with support wax risers connecting overhanging pieces. Often times the art piece is crafted in pieces to be welded together afterwards. The wax sculpture is then covered in the soilmix so as to make the mould.

The mould is then fired in a kiln with other moulds. This hardens the soil mix and melts the wax, which flows out from holes made in the mould. Melted bell-metal is poured into the empty holes and allowed to cool to finish the casting process.

The piece is extracted by breaking the mould and extraneous metal is cut away leaving a cast dhokra item. It is then sanded and polished to a good finish before it is sent to the market to be sold.

General trivia

Unlike most of its counterparts, the dhokra artform is eco-friendly and doesn’t pollute the environment in any way.

You can buy dhokra art and other kinds of artwork all at www.art2india.com


Buy Dokra and other traditional art at reasonable prices.

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