Bastar Wooden Crafts are traditional Indian wooden crafts that are manufactured in the Bastar district of Chhattisgarh state in India.
The wood-crafting work has been protected under the Geographical indication (GI) of the Government of India
Chhattisgarh, especially Bastar people have excellent skills in variety of craft work including Dhokra, bamboo craft, wrought iron craft, tribal dress, traditional textile, Kantha embroidery, terracotta, tribal painting, bell metal, etc.
Their skills have been recognized by national and state awards. Badhai tribes are skilled in this woodcraft work and they are divided into two groups. One group make agricultural instruments and other group make decorative and totemic pillars.
Another community, knows as Muria tribe also has woodcarving skills. The Murias are best in craftsmanship. Their skill apply in various objects – small & big.
They turn craft skills into interpretation of basic lifestyles and basic routines of life such as chaffing of paddy, grinding grains, etc.
They express their culture and religious faiths into art-forms that reflect through their gods, goddess, music, culture and wildlife.
The craft work heavily depended on their hands where there is no machinery usage, or very rare use of machinery in some areas only.
Woodcraft in Bastar has beautiful and unique form of art that was mastered by Bastar tribal and it helps their livelihood.
The handicrafts product has decent market in different parts of India as well as in some foreign countries.
They use teak wood, Indian Rosewood, whitewood and other finest wood to craft various handicraft items. Bastar Wooden Craft has been exhibited at “Durbar Hall Art Gallery” too.
Wooden craft from the midst of Bastar forests are known for its relief technique in which the artisans chisel the artwork at a significant depth to give a projection effect. Motifs used in the Bastar wooden craft is very much similar to those found in Indus valley civilization.
Bastar Wooden Craft reflects local mythology, rituals, religion, and folklore in the exquisite shape & forms. The unique raw quality in the finish adds to the rustic appeal of the product.
The wood craft in Bastar exist from 10th Century A.D (since the existence of tribes). This craft was supposed to be on its verge when stone carving began to decrease in the region.
Geographical Area of Production:
Bastar is a region with extensive land cover, with large forests of Sheshum and Shivna wood thriving in the area. Initially, the tribals used the forests to source wood for basic needs like firewood and building shelters. Over a period of time they began to use wood for carving objects and other forms of carpentry.
Wooden craft from the midst of Bastar forests are known for its relief technique in which the tribal artisans chisel the artwork at a significant depth to give a projection effect by using simple hand held tools.
The use of local mythological tales and stories from daily life are the main characteristics seen in the art work of the Bastar craftsmen.
Description of Products:
These wooden crafts are most famous, beautiful and unique art of wooden carving of Bastar tribals. These wooden crafts are made out of the finest teak wood, Sheshum, sagon and Shivna wood.
The products are Idols, wall panels, furniture items etc. Among the furniture items Deewan (Cot with box) is very famous and attractive since it involves the art of carving with different pictures of Bastar culture and other designs of interest.
The products are used for decorative purposes, utility purposes, building interior, wall panels and furniture items, etc.
These products may also have some cultural importance to these people. The products which are generally made by them can be broadly classified into three categories :
Gods and Goddesses, Wall panels, Wild Animals and Birds, Carving Scenes of Village Life, Tribal cultures, Tribal masks, Tribal Folk Dances with tribal Motif etc.
Furniture With Tribal Motif
Diwan, Sofa Set, Dressing Table, Mirrot Frame, Dining Set,Chairs, Doors and Door Panels etc.
Daily Use Products
Combs, Hairpins, Knives and other kitchen Accessories, Tobacco cases, Musical Instruments, Jewelry boxes etc.
Method of Production :
The basic processes involved in wood carving are :
- Sawing and Leveling
- Tracing or drawing
- Polishing and Finishing
Design & Motifs:
The motifs used in the Bastar Wooden Craft is very much similar to those found in Indus Valley Civilization establishing an unbroken lineage of the craft form.
The use of local mythological tales and stories from daily life are the main characteristics seen in this art work of the Bastar craftsmen.
Frequent reference to the local mythology, rituals, religion, and folklore in the exquisite shape and forms of the handicraft reflects the cultural legacy of the people who craft them.
The motifs used in the Bastar Wooden Craft is very much similar to those found in Indus valley civilization establishing an unbroken lineage of the craft form.
Uniqueness of the Craft :
There are many unique features of Bastar wood carving that demarcates it from any other wood craft in India.
Some of the unique features of Bastar wood craft which differentiate its art from rest of the world are as follows:
- Use of Sheshum wood.
- Tribal motifs.
- Uneven shapes and geometry.
- Depicts local mythology and culture.
- Rawness in the finish that adds to the rustic appeal of the product.
Bastar Wooden Craft has been Conferred with the Geographical Indication (GI) status by the Government of India in 2008 with GI Number 63.
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These handicrafts can be served as warming gifts, anniversary gifts, ethnic day gifts, birthday gifts, festive gifts, traditional occasions and gifts on any joyous occasion or as a good show piece or table top.
“A country remains poor in wealth both materially and intellectually if it doesnot develop its handicrafts and its handicrafts & handloom industries. It lives a lazy parasitic life by importing all the manufactured articles from outside”.
~ Mahatma Gandhi