Horn and bone craft in Orissa
Beautiful testaments of horn and bone crafts can be witnessed in the Eastern part of India which includes states like Orissa, West Bengal, Jharkhand and Bihar. Horn craft is prevalent in Orissa since ages. Oraons, Santhals and Marijas are the tribes which are especially skilled in making horn crafts of brilliant designs. Horns of cattle like cows and buffalos serve as the raw material for such artistry. This includes both decorative as well as utilitarian items like jewellery, flower vases, pen stands, combs, etc. Horn and bones crafts are often ornamented with silver filigree which augments their beauty even more. Cuttack has gained prominent fame in such combination style of bone crafts in India. Apart from the tribal people, many contemporary artisans are also involved in this craftwork. Artisans of Parlakhemundi deserve special mention for their expertise in this field.
Horn and bone craft in West Bengal
Horn and bone crafts are also widely found in West Bengal. Jiagunj and Khagra in Murshidabad district have a traditional heritage of this artistry which is well known all over India. These crafts have equal prevalence in both Hindu and Muslim cultures which gives them a secular appearance. Figures of deities like, Goddess Durga, Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Ganesha, and royal chairs or 'simhasans' are some of the most spectacular specimens of Horn and Bone Crafts of Eastern India. Since ancient times, combs made out of horns and bones are believed to have nurturing effect on scalp and hair which make them an ideal artefact for regular use. This belief still persists in many villages of Eastern India where people use combs made of horns and bones only. Besides these, decorative items like bullock carts, jewellery boxes with intricate designs engraved on them, beautiful chariots and many more items are also crafted. In West Bengal, craftsmen of Narayan Chak, Jyot Ghanashyam and Tamluk villages of Medinipur district have adopted this craftwork as a common occupation.
Horn and Bone Crafts of Jharkhand
Jharkhand State of Eastern India has also gained popularity in horn and bone craftwork. Hazaribagh district of Jharkhand is well acclaimed in producing gorgeous products carved out of horns and bones. Adorned with gold and silver, jwellaries made of horns and bones exhibit uniqueness and elegance. Bone bangles are found in a variety of designs, shapes and colours that match perfectly with different choices and attires of people. College goers have a great craving for such jewelleries. In addition to jewelleries, the craftsmen of Jharkhand also furnish a wide range of admirable decorative items.
Horn and Bone Crafts of Bihar
Horn and bone crafts have also found a significant place in the ancient crafts of Bihar state of Eastern India. Wood inlay ornamented with horn and bone craftworks are beautiful testaments of artistic mastery of Bihar. Wall hangings, trays and many other items of home decors are some of the most cherished products. Household items made of horns and bones are also very popular in Bihar.
Making of Horn and Bone Crafts
Crafting products of horns and bones require specific skills and mastery in craftsmanship. A series of elaborate procedures leads to such exotic crafts. For making these crafts, the raw materials are firstly soaked in water, heated and then smoothened before rendering them specific shapes. Required groves and incisions are made on them and are polished to furnish a glossy look. Final processing is done with charcoal, limestone and coconut oil. Thus, intensive and laborious steps are involved in this fine form of artistry.
Horn and Bone Crafts of Eastern India exhibit both traditional as well as contemporary styles. Designs in such crafts include floral, figurative and other motifs. Inspirations from Mughal architecture are quite evident in some artefacts whereas some of them depict Indian mythology in traditional yet wonderful styles. These crafts are quite famed for their explicitly beautiful designs and alluring styles. This brilliant craftwork attracts people not only from India but also from all over the world.
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