(Last Updated on : 19/01/2016)
Metal craft of Chhattisgarh are well appraised all over the world for its great ethnicity and graceful creations. Chhattisgarh is a land of rich culture and heritage and is home to many arts and crafts apart from fine museums, galleries and tourist attractions of the place. The metal craft of Chhattisgarh are sublime and exemplary in their natural designs with a trace of artistry.
Metal craft of Chhattisgarh includes different items that are part of the regular life. The metal ornaments are considered as one of the main items of the crafts of Chhattisgarh. The ornaments are mostly handmade and many tribal people of the Chhattisgarh region are engaged in the making of ornaments. The metal ornaments created by the expert artisans as well as the tribal people are very popular not only among the locals but among the tourists. The ornaments are made out of various materials like gold, silver, bronze and mixed metals. Chhattisgarh is not only noted for its metal work but it has its distinct style in creating ornaments of unique style made of beads, feathers or terracotta. The metal ornaments are a wonderful substitute to the age-old gold jewelleries. The ethnic look of the ornaments has a great impact on tourists and the people of other states.
The metal craft of Chhattisgarh includes the usage of bell metal which has been remaining the oldest metal object which is hailed from the tradition of the Mohenjodaro and Harrappa. The bell metal craft is practiced in areas like Lalitpur, Raigarh and Sarguja of Chhattisgarh. The Ghadwa community of Chhattisgarh is known to be the expert in this particular metal craft. Many products are made from such art such as vessels, jewellery and the images of the local deities. Even the Bastar district specializes in the preparation of items from the Bell Metal Handicraft. The artifacts created from Dhokra technique add a different charm to the metal crafts. Behind the superb metal cast images of the tribal deities of Bastar, Chattisgarh lays a rich world of myth and legend.
Metal casting or Gadwakam is an ancient form of metal craft that includes intricate design work with its delicacies of form, line and modulation. The craft of casting metal by the lost wax process is called cire perdue in the West.
The statue of a dancing girl, excavated at Mohenjodaro dated around third millennium B.C. with its intricate and elegant carving, stands as the evidence that the cire perdue process was already perfected at the time. This form of metal craft technique is practiced in India from the prehistoric age still survives and is used for making religious images, ritualistic items and objects of utility. This craft include sculptures of the Mahua tree, the Karma tree, of local devis like Dhanteshwari devi, Mouli devi, Pardesin Matadevi, or village folk, musical instruments, ornaments, oil lamps, household utensils and measures.
Though brass and bronze are the predominantly used metals in the metal craft of Chattisgarh, but other metals are also used in creating objects according to the demand and considering availability of the metals. An interesting characteristic of the metal crafts of Bastar is the abstract figures with long hands as well as their tribal Gods and Goddesses.