India | Orissa

Orissa Woodcarving

Woodcarving is an important handicraft industry in Orissa. The various woodcarvings found in the ancient temples of Orissa are a testimony to the long time association of the art with this region. This art is broadly classified into painted woodcarving, plain woodcarving and artistic articles made of wood.

The painted woodcarvings are marked by their blunt and less detailed features. This craft can be seen in the wooden toys, masks, door panels and most importantly in the decoration of the temple idols and chariots. Lightweight woods are the preferred medium and the colors are derived from vegetables and minerals. The themes involved in this art include animals, birds, gods and notably the deities of the famous Jagannath Temple in Puri.

Plain woodcarvings are done on soft cream-colored wood of white teak, locally called as ‘gambhari.’ The carvings in these woods are sharp and delicate. The figures are well proportioned and smooth. These carvings depict various scenes derived from mythology, the most popular being the scene depicting the recital of Bhagavad Gita by Lord Krishna to Arjuna. Wood articles are made from white teak and the rose wood. The articles include glasses, bowls, incense stands and other decorative items.

Updated on 7th June, 2005


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