Bhubaneswar: Odisha is known for its handicrafts as much as for the crowd-amassing Ratha Jatra or the spectacular Odissi dance. Intricate, ingenious and exquisite, these pieces of artistic brilliance are souviners of Odisha’s rich cultural heritage, legacy and identity. They serve as a source of livelihood for many communities in the state, as well.
Here are the seven artefacts that have wooed patrons all over the globe:
Also known as applique work, this handwoven marvel is the brand ambassador of Odia handicrafts with its headquarters at Pipili. With this quintessential mirror work and motifs, chaandua adorns the chariots of Lord Jagannath and his siblings during Ratha Jatra, along with the other belongings of the holy trinity such as seats and pillows. It is used for canopies, wall hangings, umbrellas, handbags, etc and is a major attraction among foreign travellers.
Delicate and intricate, the process of making silver filigree jewellery does not involve carving, engraving or moulding and instead boast of dexterity of the craftsmen. Fine wires of silver are worked upon individually and joint to create elegant designs of neckpieces, earrings, betel nut boxes, ornaments of Odissi dancers, vermillion containers, key chains, miniature temples and most importantly decorative pieces for Durga idols (Chandi Medha) during the famed Dussehra in Cuttack. These make an elegant addition to jewellery collection of the ladies and can be presented as ever-lasting wedding gifts.
This oldest art form of Odisha is a type of cloth-based scroll painting, recognized by the colourful manifestation of themes that is used to mostly depict mythology or folklore, but now includes contemporary designs. An entire village of Raghurajpur in Odisha is engaged in keeping this thousand-year-old art form of the state alive. Made on cloth or palm leaves, these are celebrated paintings that have found favour with art connoisseurs all over the world.
Brass works of Odisha are made from the process of sand casting, majorly in Kantilo in Nayagarh district and Balakati near the Odisha capital. Brass utensils, the classic fish figurine, entwined snakes, idols of gods and goddesses, bells, gongs, lampstands and lamps (diyas) are well-known artefacts that have favoured utility and decorative uses. It is customary for Odia brides to take brass utensils as a part of trousseau, when she goes to her in-laws house after the wedding ceremony.
Golden grass weaving
Known for it’s typical gold-toned hue, the monsoon grass leaves are collected and woven by skilled weavers to produce bowls, baskets, mats, hats, hand fans, winnowing fans and accessories such as jewellery, bags, key chains, coasters. etc. and have found fans among international buyers and tourists, alike.
Originating from Parlakhemundi, this craft is unique due to its polished sheen and finish and is also an alternative to use of ivory for art and craft. The handmade combs, cranes, horns, birds, idols, and array of animals such as bulls, deer, elephants, etc. have a huge demand in domestic as well as international market.
Dhokra products are made using the lost wax process with not pure but scraps of a variety of metals that give them the antique look. Based on folklore, classic dhokra products include animals, human heads, replicas of deities, lampstand, candlestands, ash trays, etc. It is also a tribal form of handicraft from Mayurbhanj whose rustic and old-fangled look, makes it a collector’s delight.