Wednesday, June 29, 2022
West Bengal

Arts & Crafts of West Bengal

▪ Introduction ▪ Mangalghat ▪ Lakshmi Ghat ▪ Manasa Ghat ▪ Tulsimancha
▪ Bara -Murti ▪ Harhi ▪ Pressed-nose Dolls ▪ Kalasi Kankhe Putul
▪ Patua-made Dolls ▪ Putul(dolls) ▪ Bankura Pottery ▪ Krishnanagar Pottery

Pressed - nose Dolls 

The size of this doll is 1-2 inches to 4 -5 inches. It is found in Tulsi  - berai, Tantiberai, Sariyala - Balipota, Antila and Kalikapur, Patihal and Jagatballavpur in Howrah district, in Midnapore town and in Berachampa - Debalaya. The dolls of Jagathballavpur and Midnapore town have blue and red stripes on white coating.

Horse - riders with and without wheels : Average height of the dolls is 4 to 5 inches.  

Wheeled type is made in Tantiberai and Bantul in Howrah district and in Berachampa.

Mother - Dolls :

Of all the mother - dolls the most interesting and unique types are made by Bankura potters. The types vary in different centres. Panchmura, Rajagram and Sonamukhi which are the three principal centres of Bankura pottery produce different type of mother - dolls. The dolls of  Sonamukhi have red colour but the Panchmura dolls are generally black. Dolls of Sonamukhi and Rajagram have 'bonnets' also.

Dolls with Hip Jars  

These are popularly known as 'Kalasi Kankhe Putul' or dolls with hip - jars.' Housewives on the village roads with water filled earthen jars on their hips in pleasant relaxing mood ' has been captured by the women potters and shaped perfectly into the hip-jar dolls.

There are numerous representations of village life in dolls.  The different types of these dolls are hair - caring, milk - maid (Goalini), wheat-crusher, horse - rider and elephant - rider. All these dolls are done by pressing method and by women potters.

Of these, hair-caring is a peculiar type of doll which depicts a woman sitting in front with her child sucking her breast and another woman from behind is caring her hair.  The size of the doll is about 5" x 6"x3".  It has all the qualities of sculpture and looks like a piece of wood-carving or stone-carving.

Patua-made dolls 

Patuas or Chitrakars are scroll-painters. Some types of clay dolls, figures of deities and animals are made by women of Patua-caste in West Bengal in Midnapore, Bankura, Howrah and 24 Parganas.

Silate (slate-like) dolls:  These are like plaques with holes for fixing on walls. These are coloured dolls and the favourite colours are green, red and blue.

Krishnanagar Pottery

Krishnanagar clay-modeling is about 250 years old  and the potters of Krishnanagar did not originally belong to their present locality. Krishnachandra, the Maharaja of Krishnanagar in 1728 brought them from Dacca in East Bengal or from Natore in North Bengal. 

In Krishnanagar pottery the social scenes of our country and the people, the different castes and racial types are reproduced realistically in clay-models. For example social scenes like collectors court, tea garden, Pandit-Sabha, Charak festival etc are used in clay modeling. This pottery is very popular and in most of the international exhibitions held since 1851, Krishnanagar clay-models have won medals and certificates and also great admiration from the people of Europe. The prices were very high even one hundred years ago and one can easily imagine its possible clientele today. The customers of these models used to be mainly Europeans.