I was sixteen years old when I was first introduced to the mesmerizing craft of Dhokra. The craft pieces created by the visiting Dhokra artisans at school left me spell bound. All I wondered was; what is Dhokra and where does it come from?
The Bronze Age on the Indian subcontinent began around 3300 BC when inhabitants of the Indus Valley started developing new techniques in metallurgy. Dhokra is non-ferrous metal casting using the lost wax casting technique amongst some aboriginal nomadic tribes of eastern India. It is also known as “Cire Perdue” in French. Apart from India, this technique is also quite common in Egypt, China and Greece.
In India, the craft got its name from the “Dhokra Damar” tribe of Eastern India. This nomadic tribe hence moved along the eastern belt in search of raw materials like copper/bronze and finally settled in Chattisgarh, Orissa and West Bengal. The most common models of the Dhokra craft are animals (such as horses, elephants, turtles, owls, etc.), human figurines and also some modern dhokra jewelry.
Stay tuned until next time to delve deeper into the history of the whereabouts of Dhokra with me.
-International Journal Of History And Cultural Studies (Ijhcs), Issn Print: 2454-7646, Issn Online: 2454-7654, Volume 1, Issue 3, Oct – Dec 2015, Pp 31-33, and Www.arcjournals.org. Dhokra: A Traditional Craft of Rural India (n.d.): n. pag. Web.