word Dokra or Dhokra was used to specify a group of craftsmen of traveling
type, scattered over Bengal, Orissa and Madhya Pradash and were identified
by their marvelously fashioned and ornamented metal goods. The craftsmen
have later on established in some areas of Bardwan, Bankura and Midapur
districts of West Bengal parting their itinerant nature. The
expression Dokra in Bengali is used with disdain for those who are communally
stumpy and detested. Of all craftsmen in West Bengal, these metal smiths
are generally most mistreated as social outcasts.
Consequently they are
called Dokras. Dokra
structure of metal casting is said to be oldest form of metal casting
and is precisely known as ‘cire perdue’ or lost wax procedure. A duplication
of the preferred product is made with wax on a clay center with all its
improved particulars of designs and decorations. A small amount of coats
of delicately ready clay paste is applied over the replica and dried out in the shadow. When the wax-image is done it has
to be purified with pancha- varna or the five minced pigments.
The joints of the constituent parts of the wax model should be toughened
with copper rod or nails before being enclosed by the clay mould. These
supports may be chiseled off after the wax model melts away in the heat
of the furnace. These
Dokras craft an assortment of imagery and figures of gods and goddesses,
birds and animals. Their major items of manufacture are measuring cutlery
of different sizes and anklets and tinkling dancing bells for the Santhals. They make paikona, dhunuchi, pancha pradeep, anklets, ghunghrus with mixed
aluminium by the lost wax process but do not make any imagery or figures. The dexterity of Dokra is exclusive in that no two Dokra products
alike. Of exacting attention is the way humble every day wares are perfected
with immense love, care and creativity.
castings usually include of home beautification accessories like lamp
holders, lamps, chains, and a variety of symbols of ethnic folklore and
religion, and beautiful tribal jewelry of tribal Indian designs and patterns.
In current years, this eternal tradition of wonderfully
fashioned, decorated and handcrafted goods of Dokra artisans are in immense
command in domestic and foreign marketplace because of it primeval plainness
folk motifs. Untutored in recognized institutions, the
talent and artistic sagacity of these people are the outcome of the instinctive
and intuitive innovative sense evolved over thousands of years.
current years, the product of Dokra artisans are in immense command in
domestic and foreign market because of it primitive simplicity charming
folk motifs and powerful form. 57 families are still occupied in the crafts
scattered in the districts like Bankura, Birbhum, Burdwan and Midnapur.