Bhawani Durries of Coimbatore
The Bhawani durries of Coimbatore district of Tamil Nadu date back to a couple of centuries. They are woven in cotton and silk. On a cotton base, cotton stripes or traditional designs are woven and on silk base, the designs are woven in silk. This place was initially famous for silk durries ut now staple has taken its place for economic reasons.
Contributed by Vanitha and Team, CEE South
Chola Bronze Works
The ancient craft of bronze or "panchaloha" casting of icons which reached its apogee of excellence under the Cholas is done by the cire per due or lost wax method. The icon is first made in wax and three layers of clay applied on the wax model which is then allowed to dry. When perfectly dry, the clay coated mould is heated over an open ground oven and the molten wax forced out through appropriate holes in the icons.
Embroidery of Toda Women
The Toda women of the Nilgiri region of Souther India, including Tamil Nadu have evolved a very rich distinctive style of embroidery called pugar which means flower. Geometrical patterns are stitched on long shawls called poothkuli that are worn in Roman style by the menfolk. The designs are mostly symbolic ranging from floral motifs to animal and human figures.
Kalamkari literally means, Kalam - pen & kari - work, i.e., art work done using a pen. The art of painting using organic dyes on cloth was popular in several parts of India, but this style of Kalamkari flourished at Kalahasti (80 miles north of Chennai) and at Masulipatnam (200 miles east of Hyderabad). The Kalahasti tradition which developed in the temple region depicts mainly themes from Hindu mythology, epics (Ramayana, Mahabharatha), images of Gods and heroes. The artists use a bamboo or date palm stick pointed at one end with a bundle of fine hair attached to this pointed end to serve as the brush or pen. The dyes are obtained by extracting colours form parts of plants - roots, leaves along with mineral salts of iron, tin, copper, alum, etc., which are used as mordants.
Contributed by Prarthana, CEE Ahmedabad
Kolam: Ritualistic Threshold Drawings and Designs of Tamil Nadu
Kolam are a type of threshold drawings and designs found in Tamil Nadu. Like many other parts of India, threshold drawings are very famous in Tamil Nadu. Kolam is also practiced in other states of South India such as Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala.
Nachiarcoil in Thanjavur district of Tamil Nadu is famous for a light brown sand called vandal on the banks of the river Cauvery that is ideally suited for making moulds. Owing to the growing scarcity of copper, the bell-metal workers of the state have now switched to brass ware. Some of the articles cast are vases in different shapes, tumblers, water containers, ornamented spitoons, food cases, bells, candle stands, kerosene lamps, picnic carriers, and a large variety of lamps. Of these, a few items like tumblers, food cases and milk containers are in bell metal and the rest are in brass. A special jar with a cashew-nut design and named after it has become a kind of hallmark of Nachiarcoil.
Contributed by: Vanitha and Team, CEE South
Papier Mache of Tamil Nadu
In Tamil Nadu waste paper pulp is hand beaten into a soft substance mixed with local clay to be rolled out into thin malleable sheets. Life sized dolls, scenes from the epics, icons of gods and goddesses, masks and animal forms are among the many colourful papier-mache toys handcrafted in Tamil Nadu. After fashioning the form of the article out of papier-mache pulp, the articles are dipped into a thin solution of paper pulp and white clay and then painted in oil or water colour.
Contributed by: Vanitha and Team, CEE South
Pattamaadai mats are silk mats also called Pattu paai that originated in a small village in Thirunalveli district of Tamil Nadu. The art and craft of weaving and blending intricate designs of Pattamadai mats are considered unique to this region. Made of a special kind of grass called "Korai/Gorai"- it is also called is also called Korai or Gorai paai. The conventional method of mat making is a lengthy processes of drying, soaking, splitting and dyeing the grass.
Pottery Works of Vellore
Vellore in north Arcot district of Tamil Nadu is famous for black and red earthenwares. Usilampatti in madurai district has black pottery painted over with a special yellow substance which has an old tradition. Panruti in south Arcot is famous for a large variety of clay work that include small and large figures of deities, toys, etc. Karigiri in south Arcot is most famous for its unique style of pottery.
Stonecraft of Tamil Nadu
Through the ages the best talent in stone craftsmenship went into stone carving of images and structures made for the temples by hereditary sthapatis belonging to the Vishwakarma community of Tamil Nadu.
Tanjore Gold Leaf Painting
Featuring the pantheon of Hindu gods and goddesses and stories from Ramayana and Krishna leela themes, the classic Tanjore paintings of Tamil Nadu present perfect harmony and rythm in composition and blending of colours. The speciality of Tanjore paintings, which originated in the courts of the Marhatta rulers of Thanjavur, lies in their ornamentation. Gold leaf, gilted metal pieces and semi-precious stones decorate and embellish the figures on the paintings.
Wood-crafts of Tamil Nadu
In Tamil Nadu there are a number of places noted for wood craft. Virudunagar is famous for the traditional style. It has now started making articles for household use. Devakottai and Karaikkudi make traditional panels in different sizes.