Sunday, June 14th, 2009 | Author:

Dhokra is a metal casting art that has been used in India for more than 4000 years now. Ne o the earliest work of Dhokra art was found in Mohenjodaro. This wax artifact was a dancing girl. Dhokra art is known for its simplicity and enchanting folkness in it. The rural motifs that are used in this art evokes a very earthy feeling in all of us. Dhokra artisans and their artwork are thus in great demand in Indian as well as in international markets.


Dhokra art consists of animals like cows, horses, elephants, peacocks, owls, religious images of various Gods and Goddesses, measuring utensils, glasses and bowls, and lamp caskets etc. All these art products are highly appreciated and praised.


There are two main processes of lost wax casting: solid casting, and hollow casting. Solid casting is predominant in the south of India while hollow casting is more common in Central and Eastern India. Hollow casting is the more traditional method and uses the clay core whereas solid casting uses a solid piece of wax to create the mould.


Most artisans of the Dhokra art belong to the Dhokra Damar tribes that are the traditional metal smiths of West Bengal. Thus the name of this art and their technique of lost wax casting is named after their tribe – Dhokra metal casting. This tribe extends from Bihar to West Bengal and even to Orissa. Some of the artisans of Madhya Pradesh also specialize in the Dhokra art. Some of the artisans a few hundred years ago traveled to south as far as Kerla and north as far as Rajasthan and hence are now found all over India.


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