The art and craft of Dhokra

A non-ferrous metal casting using the ‘lost-wax casting’ technique is known as Dhokra or Dokra. In India, this metal casting technique is used for over 4,000 years and is still in use. The famous statue of the dancing girl of Mohenjo-Daro is one of the earliest known ‘lost wax casting’ artifacts.

From the Dhokra Damar tribes, who are the traditional metalsmiths of West Bengal, the name ‘Dhokra’ comes. After their tribe, their technique of lost wax casting is named, hence it is called Dhokra metal casting. From Jharkhand to Orissa to as far ahead to Chattisgarh, Rajasthan and even Kerala, the tribe extends. So, all over India, Dhokra craft is now found. These are also available in a gift item shop.

In crafting artefacts, accessories, utensils, and jewellery, Dhokra art is still used. By its rustic simplicity, enchanting folk motifs and clean, distinctive lines, it is differentiated. In the Indus Valley Civilization, Rome as well as in Egypt, the artistry of jewellery making in brass using the craft of Dhokra art was practised. In the world, India has been the largest brass making country. This art has been practised here for the last 5000 years.

In the tribal belts of West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Orissa and Madhya Pradesh, the Dhokra metal craft is popular. Small figurines of horses, drummers, tribal deities and plaques are included in these art forms. From brass scrap, these types of art and jewellery are mainly made. The core of the objects is filled with clay, unlike any other metal craft.

Those craftsmen who make Dhokra jewellery depends on materials easily available such as wax, resin and firewood from the forest, riverbed clay and a firing oven made by digging a hole in the ground. It may seem that these resources are easily available, but in tribal villages, where craftspersons depend on nature to make these types of jewellery, Dhokra jewellery is created by their hard work. You can buy these types of jewellery from a shop selling artificial jewellery.

From one generation to another, the art of Dhokra Jewellery making is passed down and is a creative and contemporary expression of an ancient technique. Motifs of gods and goddesses, floral shapes and rustic designs were earlier used in this technique. The art of Dhokra Jewellery is given a stylish and international look by today’s craftspersons that goes brilliantly with both ethnic and international style.

2019-01-10T12:32:18+00:00