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Oct282013

11:51:24

Dokra alexander mcqueen wedding dresses Craft of Bengal - Harking Back to a Lost Legacy of Ancient Indian Handicrafts by Nantaram Orubenga

Dokra Craft of Bengal - Harking Back to a Lost Legacy of Ancient Indian Handicrafts by Nantaram Orubenga
It is no secret that India - one of the fastest developing nations in the third world - boasts of one of the richest cultural legacies in the world. India has been the cradle of one of the most ancient and culturally, scientifically, academically and heroically advanced civilizations of the world - namely the Indus valley civilization. It is but natural that India has still retained some of the more valuable vestiges of its rich past.

Here I am referring to the abundant flourishing of different kinds of handicrafts in various corners of this incredible country. Dokra craft or Dhokra art is one such unique handicraft of India that dates back to the days of Mohenjodaro - one of the prime seats of the erstwhile Indus valley civilization.

But unfortunately this incredibly beautiful and skilful art of metal casting known as Dokra craft is fast on the wane, slowly but steadily tiptoeing towards the same fate that has been embraced by millions of other handicrafts of the world which are slowly and silently dying out due to lack of patronage, sponsorship, exposure and lack of artisans.

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Close to 4500 years back, the craftsmen settled in Mohenjodaro created bronze figurines of a girl in a dancing pose using a combination of lost wax technique and metal casting. This craft is characterized by a strange but unmistakable vitality coupled with an intrinsic starkness along with a seamless blend of tradition - all molded together in the form of art.

Dokra craft has a massive fan following in laypersons, scholars, art connoisseurs both in foreign countries as well as in India. Dhokra art is one of the most coveted art forms among educated and well informed collectors of art all across the globe. And there is something rather strange about Dokra craft that is its USP - no two pieces of this Indian handicraft are alike. Each and every single piece of Dokra craft is unique.

This metallurgical art form on which Dokra craft/Dhokra art is based has the lost wax technique as its foundation - something that the aesthetically inclined French call "cire perdue". And it is special in the sense that in spite of being one of the oldest Indian handicrafts, it is still the most advanced! A majority of modern day sculptors favor the Dokra craft over other techniques of sculpting figurines and Dokra craft is eco friendly as well.

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