(Last Updated on : 06/09/2011)
Economy of artisan tribes has undergone a sea change. The tradition of craft-making has become rare due to change in forest and land policy as well as on account of machine availability that has made articles available at cheap rate. They are not in a position to compete with traders who are involved in the trade of machine made articles. The level of literacy is low among the Artisan tribes.
They earn wages by selling their labour in agriculture, forest, construction work and as a labourer they do not get work throughout the year. Therefore they need to face problems of unemployment. Some of the tribes rear goat, chicks and ducks in order to fetch some income. Others do cultivation. The economy of Artisan tribes is a mixture of craft making, labour, cattle rearing, rickshaw pulling and food collection.
They are engaged in some kind of secondary occupation in order to supplement their annual household income. Secondary occupations include collection of forest produce, harvesting, reja and coolie and brick-making.
The Lohara and the Karmali tribes practise the traditional occupation of smelting of iron. They use a tool named Bhanti that is made up of leather to create air to burn the coal.
Mahali tribes are traditionally basket makers. They carried palanquin. However now-a-days not many families are engaged in such an occupation. Various types of baskets, brooms, mats are prepared.
Articles made by Artisan tribes are sold in local weekly markets which take place once or twice in a week. During marriage season traders from neighbouring areas visit in the house of Mahali tribes those who are engaged in the occupation of basket making. For Chhathi worship, winnowing trays are sold and purchased.
The distribution of agricultural land is heterogeneous in Artisan tribes. As they have been engaged in traditional occupation agricultural land as such is not possessed. They own a small acre of agricultural land as compared to agricultural tribes.
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