Saturday, July 2, 2022
Madhya Pradesh


Craftsmanship and Bell Work

The exquisite taste for making handicrafts is an important trait of the tribals of Madhya Pradesh.

The Murias and the Marias of Bastar are excellent wood carvers.  They show their art either on visible logs of wood pieces used in their dwelling hutments or on various objects of daily use. Tobacco containers of the Murias will attract anyone for their tortoise and the sun-moon motifs and designs. Craftsmanship of the Murias can be seen in wooden blocks made for supporting hair and in wooden pins used to adorn hairdo's by the Ghotul girls.  The most charming work of this tribe is the making of combs.  On many of the combs leopard and other kinds of animal motifs are made. Wooden spears and  utensils are intensely carved.

In Bastar those who can afford would care to erect funerary pillars in the memory of their deceased relatives.  The Murias and Marias call these pillars Munde or Khamba. They are mostly made of saja or saria wood and are carved on all sides. It bears all sorts of figures.

In Bastar and other places, at the Nawa festival, the potters make toy grindstones, bullocks, horses, earthen wheels to be attached to little carts, cooking pots and tiny heaths. Murias and the Savaras make more elaborate toys which are used during their festal dances.  To a long bamboo pole they attach a number of wooden animals like monkeys or lizards and arrangement of strings move them up and down so that they appear to be climbing.

Brass work occupies an important place in the craftsmanship of the Bastar tribes.  The urge for creativeness reflects in most of the images made of the brass and bell metal.  For preparing these figures they follow the ancient cire-perdue process.  First the earthen core is made, then wax is shaped on the object which is ultimately replaced by molten metal.