Maharashtra Tourism --- The Offical website of the Maharashtra Tourism
Register About Maharashtra Tourists Delight Cities to Visit Plan Your Trip Travel Tips Tools MTDC Connect Home Pint this page Site Map
Online Brochures
Ganesh Gallery
E Greetings
Image Gallery
Video Clipping
Maps of Maharashtra
Clips Resort Rooms
TV Commercials of MTDC
Deccan Odyssey
World Heritage site
MTDC Festival
Arts & Carfts - Maharashtra Tourism --- The Offical website of the Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation, Govt. of India
Crafts of Maharashtra
Wall Hanging
The growth of crafts in society is a sign of the cultivation of sensitivity and the stirring and mellowing of humanism. It stands for man's endeavour to bring grace and elegance into an otherwise harsh and drab human existence. Actually, man's elevation from gross animal existence is marked by his yearning for something beyond the satisfaction of mere needs and creature comforts. It is the yearning that found natural expression in crafts.
- Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay
Crafts do not grow in isolation. They are basically in the service of the society. Society's culture can be measured from the arts and crafts it lived with. Arts and crafts find unhindered patronage and wide appreciation in a society that has been elevated to great cultural heights. Such society establishes values and norms that give the guidelines of life to all its members, rich and poor. Artists and craftsmen in such society exist as an integral part of it and crave to achieve excellence and reach to perfection in their work.
From the law-books, the Niti-Shastra, from the writings of Manu and Kautilya, we learn the responsibility of the state and the public to protect and patronize the artists and craftsmen. The system of taxation makes it compulsory for society to foster and support the artist and craftsmen Matsya Purana mentions that every home should have a door frame in carved wood as a sign of welcome to visitors.
This tradition of carved wooden frames and carved wooden balconies supported by brackets of animals, birds, and human forms is a part of architectural design of homes, palaces and temples as well as other community places built all over India.
There are many palaces, temples and private homes in Maharashtra, in which we see plenty of intricate and charming woodwork. In places like Pune, Wai, Satara, Nasik Chandwad, Palshi, Paithan there ar Wadas (havelis) full of excellent wood carvings. Several temples in Konkan (Sindhudurg), in places like Achre, Kunkeshwar, Sawantwadi, Aakeri have pillars and projected beams very intricately carved by the local craftsmen.
Since our contemporary architecture is totally changed and has no place for any carvings or others crafts, the craft of wood carving gradually disappeared and with that vanished all our craftsmen.
When we probe into the cultural history of Maharashtra of the last three hundred years, we come across very interesting accounts of our crafts and craftsmen which have been meticulously recorded in gazetteers and reports of various collectorates during the British rule. Our crafts were shown in several exhibitions in the Western counties and they were highly praised. George C. M. Birdwood published his book, 'The Arts of India' in 1880, in which he had given plenty of information about, the then prevailing crafts in Maharashtra. Several crafts mentioned by him are not being executed today. But some major which have survived or have been revived and handed down to the present generation of craftsmen were also going through a difficult period due to lack of patronage, because under the British rule, the lifestyle of patrons of arts and crafts was also undergoing a great change.
George Birdwood had paid high tributes to the craftsmen of Maharashtra as he had given several examples of their crafts in great detail. It is very interesting to know that the Thakurs and Katharies of Matheran Hill were imaginative craftsmen who could design ornaments. Birdwood records. "Mr. W.G.S.V. Fitz Gerald sent to the Annual International Exhibition of 1872 a collection of grass ornaments worn by the wild Thakurs and Katharies of Matheran and the Western Ghats of Bombay, which had been made by Dr. T. Y. Smith, the accomplished Superintendent of that hill station, and by the side of these grass collars, necklaces, bracelets, anklets and girdles, were exhibited also examples of the gold jewellery of thick gold wire, twisted into girdles, bracelets, anklets, necklaces, and collars worn all over India and which are fashioned in gold exactly as the Matheran ornaments are fashioned in grass."
Writing about the gold jewellery, Birdwood has mentioned that, "the repousse gold jewellery of Sawantwadi in mythological design is the best in Western India." He has also stated that "the hemispherical golden ornament worn by women, both at Bombay and Cairo, on top of their heads, of which ones sees in collection such fine specimens from Sawantwadi and
Vizianagram". No goldsmiths in Sawantwadi make such ornaments today.
Some reference about wood carving in Maharashtra has already been made. From the documentation of Birdwood we come to know that the craftsmen from Sindhudurg (Ratnagiri) were experts in designing and executing carved articles for various purposes. They used Sinsapa (Shisam) or Bombay black wood and teak for various carving purposes. According to Birdwood, "teak for the beams and pillars, brackets, and door-posts and doors of native houses is carved in
Rajapur and Deogarh talukas of the Ratnagiri Collectorate."
A good deal of inlay work was being conducted in Bombay in the latter part of the 19th Century. This inlay was made up of tin wire, sandal-wood, ebony, sappan (Brazil) wood, ivory, white, and stained green, and stag horn. "Bombay inlaid work" was familiar for ornamental furniture such as book-stands, work-boxes, blotting- cases, ubiquitous glove, boxes and card cases, which go by the name of "Bombay boxes".
Arts & Crafts
Crafts of Maharashtra
Silver Jewellery of Hupri
Ganjifa and Other Crafts of Sawantwadi
Ganesha Idols of Pen
WebMaster | Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Image Gallery | Site Help | Contact Us | Home