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FINE ARTS     HANDICRAFTS      HANDLOOMS  
HANDICRAFTS
Minor Hadicrafts
Horn Work, Lacquer, Papier Mache, Tribal Combs, Wood Carving
HANDICRAFTS
Major Hadicrafts :
Applique Work, Brass & Bell Metal, Silver Filigree, Stone Carving.

Wood Carving:

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Wood CarvingWood carving is another important handicraft of Orissa. This again can be broadly grouped into three sub-groups-painted wood carvings, plain wood carvings and wood turned items. In the first group we have painted wooden toys of Puri and Bargarh masks, and idols and chariot decorations. Usually light varieties of wood are preferred and vegetable and mineral colours are used. The art is mostly practiced by the carpenter caste who have the title Moharana. They use the simple carpentry tools like hammer, chisel etc. The motifs include various stylized animals and birds like horse, bull, elephant, lion, tiger, peacock and Nabagunjara etc., Radha and Krishna and sakhis and most popular of all, the three deities of the Puri temple-Jagannath, Balabhadra and Subhadra. There are also excellent painted wooden doors with panels depicting various scenes from Krisna's life, Ramayana and other stories. Various wooden masks with a hollow back are also painted representing stylized human faces. The three chariots of the Puri car festival are profusely decorated with wooden images depicting various deities as parswadevatas. Image of the Sarathi or the charioteer and the horses attached in front are also made by wood carvers of Puri. Similar items are also attached to the chariot of Lingaraj during Asokastami at Bhubaneswar. One can also find an interesting wooden painted image of Brahma in the Lingaraj temple immediately to the right of the entrance. Images of Radha, Krishna and sakhis as well as other decorative items made by wood carvers are attached to the Kunjas or ceremonial swings for the spring festival called dola. This shows the close links of the craft of wood carving to the cultural and religious traditions of the State. The plain wood carvings are mostly done on a soft creamish wood called gambhari or white teak. While the features in the painted wood carvings are usually less defined and blunt, those in the plain carvings in gambhari are not only sharp and fine but attain exquisite needly work finish and are more akin to the workmanship of the sculptors. Well proportioned and finished to great smoothness these items are fit for a connoisseur's including Konark wheel besides other items based on myths, legends and folklore. Indolent damsels, Krishna, Radha, skhis, Hara Parvati. Konark horse, Konark elephant are popular but the scene from Mahabharata depicting Krishna teaching Arjuna the tenets of the Gita when the latter shies away from the battle, with the grand chariot with its divine charioteer and the valiant rider depicted by the wood carver is most captivating. This variety of wood carving is mostly practiced in Cuttack town though a few craftsmen are also found at Bhubaneswar and Puri. Wood turned articles using the creamish gambhari and the harder and darker sisu or rose wood is a specialty of the artisans from Daspalla area in Puri district. Popular items are small pitchers with mango leaves and coconut, glass, bowls, and incense stands. It is interesting to note that although the process of wood turning with small hand operated wooden lathe is also used else where in India, the Orissa artisans prefer to leave the surface plain and they do not lacquer it like the famous toy makers of Chennapatna in Karnataka. Samples of the excellence of the wood carvers of Orissa can be found in temple ceilings and carved wooden beams and doors in places like Birnchinarayan temple, Buguda, Charchika temple, Banki, Siva temple, Kapilas, and Laxmi-Nrusingha temple Berhampur.

 

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