The beautiful forms of handicrafts in Chhattisgarh or Chhattisgarh crafts are popular for its intricate work. A visit to this state is incomplete without picking Chhattisgarh handicraft souvenir.The arts & crafts of Chhattisgarh truly represent the dexterity of its artisans. Chhattisgarh is well known for the metal crafts, jewelry and paintings. The people of Chhattisgarh have proved their mastery in the making of these wonderful art and craft items. Amazing wood carvings, bamboo work/furniture, bell metal handicraft, figures of terracotta, tribal jewelry, paintings, and clay pieces are some of the specialties from the state. The authentic handicrafts, like any other element of culture, are really mesmerizing. If truth be told, Chhattisgarh is a place to behold the ancient as well as refined form of arts & crafts.
Different categories of Chhattisgarh handicrafts are:
Bell Metal (DHOKRA)
Bastar & Raigarh districts of Chhattisgarh are popular for crafting bell metal handicrafts using brass, and bronze. Tribes like ‘Ghadwas’ of Bastar and ‘Jharas’ of Raigarh mainly practice this art form, also known as Dhokra art. This is done with lost wax technique or hollow casting.
Wrought Iron (LOHA SHILP)
The Loha Shilp or the use of wrought iron to create dark raw forms of the metal artifacts and figurines is another craft form of Chhattisgarh. The raw material used for this craft is mostly recycled scrap iron. Things like lamps, candle stands, effigies of musicians, toys, figurines, and deities are the typical products made out of this craft.
Like in many other states, Terracotta has found a place in the handicrafts created by Chhattisgarh. Terracotta pottery represents the rituals and customs of tribal life in the state and symbolizes their emotions.
Wood Craft (KASHTA SHILP)
Another form of craft is the woodcraft. People of Chhattisgarh make use of wood for many things. Over the years, they have started using wood for carving objects and other forms of carpentry. A tribe called Badhais is skilled in this craft.
Godna is possibly the most pioneering art form, currently practiced by a handful of women in Jamgala in Chhattisgarh. Ladies of this village paint traditional tattoo motifs on textiles. They use natural color obtained from the forest and combine them with acrylic paint to make it more stable on fabric.
Tumba is a less known craft widely produced in the Bastar region, which originated with the widespread use of hollow gourd shells. Tribal’s use them as containers to store water and salfi, from which this art is inspired.
Cotton Fabrics are one of the famous and attractive handicrafts made by the tribal’s of Bastar. These are made of Kosa thread which is made from a kind of worm found in the forest, hand woven and hand printed by tribes who trace their lineage to the 14th century weaver-saint-poet Kabir. The hand printing is generally done with the natural vegetable dye extracted from ail, found in the forest of Bastar. These fabrics include cotton saris – well-known as Bastar Kosa Sadi, dress materials and drapes.
The major handicraft items that the state of Chhattisgarh is famous for are:
Bamboo thickets are common sight in the State and tribals of Chhattisgarh have been putting their craftsmanship to work. Craftsmanship of Chhattisgarh tribal’s can be seen from varying articles of craft produce they make out of bamboo. Articles for daily as well as decorative use are produced by these artisans. Some of the well known Bamboo produce include agricultural implements, fishing traps, hunting tools and baskets.
The woodcarving art has been flourishing in Chhattisgarh from time immemorial and one can find beautifully carved wooden products designed by the craftsman of the State. The skillful craftsmen of the State carve beautiful wooden Ceilings, doors, lintels etc using different kinds of wood like shisham, teak, dhudi, sal and kikar. The craftsmen also make pipes, masks, doors, window frames and sculptures.
Traditional wall paintings of the State are associated with rituals. Floors and walls are painted with colors and in almost every instance the depiction being associated with some ritual. Pithora paintings are a common traditional art form. These paintings originated in the tribal area of the Central India which is presently Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh and depicts the offering to gods. These paintings are usually done on the occasion of marriages, childbirth and other occasions of fulfillment of wish etc. Most of these paintings have a horse as it was considered auspicious to sacrifice a horse. In most of these tribal houses one can find Pithora paintings. They are colorful and use natural colors.
Jewelry from Chhattisgarh is available in a variety of gold, silver, bronze and mixed metal. Ornament made out of beads, cowries and feathers are part of tribal costumes. Tribal men and women wear traditional ornaments.