While Dhokra art originated in West Bengal, over time the tribes moved to Jharkhand, West Bengal, Orissa and Chhattisgarh as well as places like Kerala and Rajasthan. Hence, the art has now spread all over India.
Most Dhokra artefacts are human or animal figurines. In fact, one of the earliest known lost wax casting artefacts is the legendary dancing girl of Mohenjo Daro.
The tribes are also known for making measuring bowls, religious deities and lamps, though the themes are quite limited given the fact that the metalsmiths do not have much exposure beyond their own private lives. That said, the technique that was once upon a time only used for creating articles for the tribesmen’s personal use has now evolved and is used to make jewellery boxes, tableware and more.
The Dhokra craft is one, which has been passed down from generation to generation. Sculptors and master artisans have painstakingly taught subsequent generations the trade secrets and mysteries of the craft through imitation, as well as instruction to ensure that the craft form still remains alive. Unlike other traditional artists, the Dhokra people also believe in gender equality; both men and women are taught the art and work together to create exquisite and high quality works of art.
In addition to the high level of skill on display in these products, the Dhokra art form is also characterized by the innovation and evolution of the craftsman, showcasing the newer influences and highlighting the perfect union between a traditional art form and modern muses and inspirations. While Dhokra artisans continually create ornate and intricate carvings of Gods and other revered figures from mythology, they have now also moved on to creating smaller, lighter works of art which still carry all the trademarks of the lost wax casing technique while making it affordable to an entirely new generation of art lovers and buyers across the world.
At Abhivyakti, you get a chance to explore our collection of intricate and exquisite Dhokra Brasswork products, straight from the homes and furnaces of the master craftsmen and practitioners of the art; you get a chance to own the physical embodiment of the vision of the uniquely creative artisan and also the fruit of not just one person’s hard work, but of all the generations that came before them and sacrificed to keep the craft alive. You get a chance to own a little piece of history and contribute towards keeping another ancient craft still alive, one piece at a time.