Crafts of Uttrakhand
Wood Carvings and Dekaras
The beautiful wood carvings of Uttarakhand will bring the blessing of the divine into your home. Even the doors, windows, rugs, carpets, baskets, copper utensils or the folk art Aipan made by Uttarakhand is have a unique touch of nature in their designs. Uttarkhand also has an unique art called the Dekaras which are beautifully designed clay models of the various Gods and Goddesses. You can bring a Dekara from the Land Of The Gods to answer your own prayers. Uttarakhand also makes beautiful dolls and the Pahadi Juniyali Doll is a new addition.
The popular native craft of Uttarakhand is intricate wood carvings where the craft is once again passed on from one generation to the next. The wood carvings decorate every home, the versatility of this art is evident from intricately carved wooden entrance to palaces and temples to entrances of regular houses. The marvelous wood carved wonders can be seen in popular tourist destinations such as the Chandpur Fort, the Temple of Srinagar, Pandukeshwar, the Devalgarh Temple etc. The best place to see the miniature on stone are the various temples of Uttarakhand.The wood work of Uttarakhand is so rich in heritage that woodworks of chaukhats and tibaaris are preserved in the National Museum of Delhi.
The wood work is exquisite and the range varies from decorative items like walking sticks, to animal figures to human figures to idols of Gods and Goddesses to intricately carved miniature models of divine temples to massive and detailed chaukhats. Dekaras are the clay models of the various Gods and Goddesses created in three-dimensional forms out of a mixture of fine clay mixed and color.
Pahadi Juniyali doll
Uttarakhand has made a new addition to its immense bouquet of arts and crafts with its Pahadi Juniyali doll. A company called Phyonli & Pines LLP’s has launched range of Pahadi Doll Junyali like its American cousin Barbie, in various shapes and sizes, including a version of Juniyali with a Pichora. The Juniyali doll is an addition to the Gudda Guddi dolls of Uttarakhand which are already popular online. No matter how modern the times get, the strong attachment of the people of Uttarakhand to its divine roots remain unbroken. The temple architecture has always been patronized by the Kings. Uttarakhand’s art and craft heritage draws heavily from the architecture of its temples and its divine symbols, its embedded sacred geometry, etc. often without realizing it.
Baskets and other eqipments are made by craftsmen belonging to tribal areas. Chamoli and Pithoragarh are important districts where the work of bamboo is seen.
Leather, bone and horn Craft
Leather craft of Jauhar Valley, Nachani and Milam are noteworthy. Many of the tribal people carved intricate patterns on bone. There is a collection of all these things in the tribal museum, Munsyari. Most of the new generations have become artisans and lohars and do smith works, as the bone and horn crafts have become the part of history.
Art and Craft of Banraut/Raji tribe
Banrauts or Raji are known for their craft work. They carve beautiful wooden utensils. They are the indigenous people living in high mountains in village of Rachi, Juma, Kanar etc. They also trade in wool, salt and borax. Good grass mats are prepared here. They were known as the traders of night. The tribe is reputed for its wooden crafts. Van Rawats of Pithoragarh are experts in making wooden pots. Brownish red coloured wood of Gethi can be easily carved due to its smooth grains. The pots made from this wood are the best for the storage of milk. However pine and deodara wood is also used.
Art and crafts of Tharu tribe
Tharus and bukshas of tarai are experts in making wooden utensils. They are the skilled carpenters and are also known for their quality of good work, they are also skilled in grass basketry. Beautiful and intricate baskets of varied shapes and size are woven by these tribals. The tharus and buxas also make fine ropes/yarn out of certain grass. The paddy remains is also used to make mats, they are excellent cot weavers and weave cots in varied aesthetic patterns and designs. These tribals have also mastered the art of mat making. The value of arts and crafts of these tribes was not known in the past.
A variety of baskets are made by the Tharu and Buxa tribals. Basketry is a traditional art and craft of women. The values of arts and craft of these tribes was not known in the past. Increasing awarness of these art and crafts over the last few years has brought these to fore. These arts are now commercialized and earn good revenue to the tribals and have given a boost to them.
The baskets, wood and grass craft products of these tribals are very popular in the markets now. Many NGOs like the Mahila Swayam Sidha Pariyojana have helped, patronized and encouraged the tribal women to develop their craft. Grass for making baskets is brought from river banks especially Devha river. Urai grass is good for making baskets.
Cotton carpet is currently developed craft of Tharu women. Balkhera villagers in Udham Singh Nagar make beautiful cotton carpets. These carpets are made in bulk after the month of October when they get a lot of free time from their agricultural work.
Art and Crafts of Jaunsari Tribe
Beautiful natural and geometrical designs are carved on wood in the temples and residences by Jaunsari. They too like Buxas and Tharus make strong and beautiful baskets and few villagers are engaged working with woollen items. Ashram schools provide the facilities of learning the art. These schools promote the tribal community. A tailoring centre is also being run them. Bamboo basketry of Thana village in Chakrata is well known in the region. Each village of Jaunsar has a black smith tribal family.