Horn Works

Creating objects of decoration from horns of animals is a craft of Orissa practiced for many years by the tribes of Santhals, Oraons and Marijas. The craftsmen of Cuttack and Paralakhemundi in Orissa skillfully fashion horns into various objects that are functional and representational of natural objects - birds arrested in flight, animals of prey caught prowling, fighting bulls, fish-guzzling cranes, deer nuzzling their young, elephant rolling logs, combs, pen stands, pipes, lamp shades and others. The horns used are from buffaloes and cows and their crafting involves a long process requiring a high degree of skill and imagination. Contemporary artisans use the cow and buffalo horn to make more utility items like ashtrays, jewelry and combs. Sometimes, horn and silver filigree work are combined to make ornaments. The combined style is more prevalent in Cuttack.

The desired object is carved from the solid part of a horn after soaking it in water. Then the carved piece is heated to a specific temperature and shaped. After that, its surface is smoothed by rubbing it against a sharp stainless steel blade . Necessary bores are made to fix appendages. In the past, eyes were made of the stag antler stick at the center of which a bore was drilled and stuffed with lacquer burnt in a luminous flame. But nowadays, plastic eyes are being used due to non-availability of stag antlers. After drilling bores, light incisions and grooves are made in the required places on the body of the horn. At this stage it is handed over to the women for polishing. They rub the articles first with a sand paper and then with wet Khrshana leaves. The polishing is done till the horn is smooth and shiny. Then it is thoroughly cleaned with water and dried in open air. It is then polished again with cow dung ash or charcoal ash. The various parts are then assembled and stuck together using limestone paste. Finally coconut oil is smeared all over to give the horn work a beautiful sheen.

Source: http://www.craftandartisans.com/dhokra-metal-casting-of-chhattisgarh.html

Contributed by: CEE East

blog comments powered by Disqus
Muslin Fabric

This gossamer light muslin fabric has found mention in the writings of many visitors to India, even as far back as the 3rd century B.C. A great deal of muslin was produced in and exported from Bengal. Dacca was the main region where cotton was cultivated due to the high humidity of the region, which prevented the delicate thread from breaking on contact with the air. The cotton spun was very white since the Brahmaputra and the Ganges Rivers have bleaching properties. The chikan workers in Bengal used this fine muslin for embroidery.

Stitches in Chikankari

Double-Star Earring, Peacock Feather's Eye, Sidhual, Makra, Mandarzi, Bulbulchashm, Tajmahal, Phooljali, Phanda, Dhoom, Gol, murri, Janjeera, Keel, Kangan, Bakhia, Dhania Patti, lambi Murri, Kapkapi, Karan Phool, Bijli, Ghaspatti, Rozan, Meharki, Kaj, Chameli, Chane ki Patti, Balda, Jora, Pachni, Tapchim Kauri, Hathkati and Daraj of various types.