The Lost Art Forms of the Dokra Art
by Annie Saxena on Feb 09, 2023
A genre represented not by any famous artist but by a collective of artists is known as dokra art. This art is created by artists spread geographically across the areas of Bengal, Orissa and Madhya Pradesh. They are known for creating beautifully crafted metal products.
Created by the travelling artists, dokra is created by the nomadic artists of West Bengal, Orissa and Madhya Pradesh. These artists have settled down in the regions of Bankura, Burdwan, Midnapur districts of West Bengal and their art has matured over time and space. From a nomadic character to a more matured art, Dokra art has evolved over time and space.
The origin of the Dokra art is tough to arrive at since no one region can lay claim to the Dokra art. Different tribal regions lay claim to this art though scientifically it can’t be proved to be from any specific region.
Using the lost-art technique of non-ferrous metal, the metal casting has been part of the Indian culture for over 4,000 years now. The most famous symbol of that is the dancing girl excavated from the Mohenjodaro ruins. The process includes solid casting and hollow casting – these popular techniques have been in use in Central and South India.
The dokra art derives its name from the artists practicing it – the dhokra damar tribes who are the traditional metalsmiths of West Bengal. The art technique comes from the name of the tribe, which is why the name of dhokra metal casting.
Dokra art has recently gained immense popularity in the international market, thanks to the fluidity and simplicity of the art form. Popular products include dokra horses, elephants, figurines, peacocks, owls, religious images and measuring bowls, decorative items such as lamp caskets, etc.
Simple, artistic and yet with a powerful emphasis on the art form, dokra art finds pride of place in the mantelpieces of living rooms globally.