Dhokra Craft is the earliest known method of non-ferrous metal casting known to human civilization. The name Dhokra or Dokra was initially used to indicate a group of nomadic craftsmen, and is now generically applied to a variety of beautifully shaped and decorated brassware products created by the lost wax process.
In India, these craftsmen are clustered in the states of Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Orissa and West Bengal. Dhokra Craft is made by different communities like the Situlias, Ghantaras, Thataries, Ghasis, Bathudis and other professional Dhokra workers. The Dhokras use lost-wax process to cast hollow brass objects and images. A replica of the desired product is made with wax on a clay core, with all its finer details of designs and decorations. Brass scrap in generally used as raw material. Crafted out of metal through indigenous methods, the distinctive design and form of Dhokra craft reflects the inherent expression of their feelings. It was used for making everything from making jewelry to vessels to images of gods, goddesses, animals and birds.
The Dhokra craftsmen went from tribe to tribe making their ceremonial and religious figures, ornaments and kitchenware.
Ambiguity exists in regard to whether the Dhokra Craft is a genuinely preserved tradition or a repetition of what they have been told about themselves. The Dhokras are now called karamkars. The Dhokra craft work is done both by men and women.
Updated on 7th June, 2005
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