Rare Arts and Crafts of Odisha
Both the ancient names of the state, “Kalinga” and “Utkala”, when translated roughly mean “Excellent in Art”.
So, in this piece we will try to give you an overview of the name and why the state was named such.
Odisha is famous globally for the filigree, Kansa metal and applique work. However, the state has a lot to offer in other crafts too.
The Dhokra tribe of Odisha follow a non-ferrous metal casting method, which is also known as “Dhokra”. The technique, in use for more than 4000 years, is a simple technique with a long lasting life. The tribe crafts various decorative items such as figurines inspired from folk life using this method. The products are sold and are in much demand in foreign countries. However, the onset of modern technology has forced the art to fade.
The paintings of the state are one of their kinds and could not be found anywhere globally. Some of them include Pattachitra, Palm-leaf painting and Saura Painting. The speciality of these paintings lies in the use of bright, natural colours.
“Pattachitra”, in Sanskrit it means Cloth Painting. The paintings are used to portray episodes from various Puranas and epics. Raghurajpur village of Puri district in Odisha is famous for thePattachitra. As per the artists the painting format has been in practice for more than thousand years.
Another tribe, the Saura tribe of Odisha, practices this unique painting form that is mostly seen adorning house walls. The paintings are dedicated to gods and the inspirations are taken from various folklore.
The palm leaf writings of Odisha used to function as manuscripts for scriptures. The oldest manuscript, written in palm leaf, is currently on display at the State Museum in Bhubaneswar and is believed to be from 14th century. However, due to their volatile nature the Tala patras have been quickly replaced in recent years.However, the labour gone into their preparation and their attractive use of colours places them at a high value.
“Lacquer” or Lakhain Odia, is the waste of an insect. It is collected and moulded to designs by tribal women of Baleswar and Nabarangpur district. Lakha is known for its ductile nature and can be quickly moulded to give beautiful toys, bangles and other ornamental items.
Despite the uniqueness of the arts, the state has been losing its significance in the crafts world. With the help of government, NGOs and personal interest the state is bound to flourish in the sector.
With this article, Fullodisha wishes to increase recognition, remuneration for the art and artists.