Dariyapur, Dokra Village

Dariyapur

Dokra Village

Also see: Weekend family trip to Bhalki Machan

The Covid 19 outbreak have changed the way we live and after spending over 10 months confined at home we finally decided to hit the road. The visit to the Dariyapur, Dokra Village was part of a weekend trip to Bhalki Machan.

Gate of the Dokra Crafts Centre, Dariyapur

Gate of the Dokra Crafts Centre, Dariyapur

It was a two-day trip and included several side trips covering a variety of places. Our first stop for the second day was the Dokra Village of Dariyapur.

Statues at Dariyapur gate

Statues at Dariyapur gate

Statues at Dariyapur gate

Statues at Dariyapur gate

Dokra (or Dhokra) is an an ancient art of non-ferous metal casting.

The technology dates back to over 4000 years and has been in practice with hardly any changes.

It is still widely used all over the Indian subcontinent.

Dhokra horses, elephants, peacocks, owls, religious images, measuring bowls, lamp caskets etc. are in great demand in both the domestic and international market. The dokra art is widely appreciated because of its primitive simplicity and enchanting folk motifs

Inside Dokra Crafts Centre, Dariyapur

Inside Dokra Crafts Centre, Dariyapur

The process which have been followed for over 4000 years is simple. First, the clay core is created. It roughly represents the final product.

Next, the clay core is covered with wax. The wax is then shaped and carved in all its finer details of design and decorations.

The wax in turn is again covered with clay. This forms the outer mould while the inside clay core forms the inner mould.

Then the molten brass is poured into the mould. The molten metal replaces the wax which is drained out through the drain ducts. The molten metal hardens between the inner core and the outer mould taking the shape of the wax.

Inside Dokra Crafts Centre, Dariyapur

Inside Dokra Crafts Centre, Dariyapur

The outer mould and the inner core is then chipped off and metal icon is then polished and finished as per requirement.

This traditional metal work art has still been in practice in several pockets spread across eastern India.

Sadly the artisans who are involved in this age old art hardly get any recognization nor money for their amazing skills

In recent years several public private partnerships are focusing on the development of local handicrafts.

One such organization is Bangla Natak Dot Com, a social enterprise working across India with a mission to foster inclusive and sustainable development using culture-based approaches.

Dokra making, Dariyapur

Dokra making, Dariyapur

In the last few years, Bangla Natok Dot Com has been working extensively with the dokra artists of eastern India and ensuring these artisans get the right value for their work of art.

Dariyapur, a village under Dignagar II gram panchayat of Ausgram I block in Purba Bardhaman (Google map location), houses several families practicing the dokra art.

Gate flanked with Dokra statues and plaques welcomes visitors to the Dokra Crafts Centre, Dariyapur

Spread over a large area the Dokra Craft Centre is decorated with large dokra statues and panels. The complex includes a small pavilion and an office building. During my visit, it seemed that the complex needs a little bit of maintenance.

Dokra plaques at Dokra Craft Centre, Dariyapur

Behind the office building is an open-air market of the dokra artist where the artisans sell their works directly to the customers.

Dokra plaques at Dokra Craft Centre, Dariyapur

Because of the direct manufacturer consumer link the prices are lower than the market price and the sellers are also friendly and ready to explain the details of the dokra art.

Dokra art for sale, Dariyapur

Dokra art for sale, Dariyapur

Next to the dokra stall are the dokra workshop and the visitors can get a first-hand experience of the entire dokra art process. The artisans are extremely helpful and are ready to describe any details of their work.

Dokra art for sale, Dokra Craft Centre, Dariyapur

With the passage of time, the dokra are modifying their products into more utility products. Decorative locks, hangers, conch shells and pen stands are much in demand as they satisfy a utility along with its artistic element.

Note: This trip was part of a family weekend trip to Bhalki Machan.

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