(Last Updated on : 28/03/2009)
The horn bone craft in Kerala is noted for its deft artistry and accurate use of the material. The craftsmen of the state use the raw material which is available in every sects of India with ample variations and in different colours.
Horn bone craft in Kerala is carried out in Trivandrum, Trichur, Kasaragod, Ernakulam, and Cochin. The horn bone craft in Kerala is the sector where the artistry of the craftsmen was displayed with all its flamboyance. The efficiency and skills of the master craftsmen were the foremost factor that helped to develop this craft in Kerala. Craftsmen belonging to Viswakarma Community in Thiruvananthapuram are mainly adept in this art.
The horn bone craft in Kerala needs to soften and malleable before giving it a proper shape. This is processed in a particular way that includes heating and oiling the horn bone. The grains of the horns are coalesced with colors and molded into exquisite pieces that catch the fancy of people. Sometimes the horns are pared and carved into different forms. The artistry is raised to the supremacy when horn carving is combined with dark wood.
There are motley of products that are made out of horn are models of birds and animals, toy furniture and small snake boats. The cranes of Kerala are very famous and sometimes the artisans use buffalo horns to give them proper shape. The continues with a vast array of utilitarian items like paper weights, vases, buttons, trays, pen stands, lamps, combs, cigarette cases, ashtrays, cranes, animals like elephants and tigers, toy furniture, and miniature snake boats, graced combs and hair pins that are popular among the mass. These pieces serve a dual purpose by possessing utility value as well as exclusive decorative pieces.
In earlier period, the horn bone craft in Kerala included creating images of deities and sacred animals. These items were made with great care avoiding damage to the raw material. Even today thee horn born craft is still practiced in Kerala where the artisans put much effort to amalgamate the traditional designs with their artistry. Sometimes the items are given a touch of fusion keeping in mind the modern preferences. Not only are the artisans jutting in the Indian market, but are also considering the international market to promote the sales of horn bone craft in Kerala.