Clay Craft of West Bengal

West Bengal is famous for the craftsmanship of clay craft. The clay crafts of West Bengal have got its recognition because at the time of cultural refinement and progression, the craft got the Royal patronage and the artisans got the encouragement to develop this unique craft. The artisans create different items out of clay and to give the items a distinct style and luster a lot of techniques are followed by the artisans. The craftsmen involved in clay crafts usually follow two separate schools. One is the terracotta school in which the figurines are burnt to get the desired hardness and another is the school that does not follow the method of burning the clay items. This second process is more prevalent in Kumartulli and Krishnanagar in West Bengal.
The craft of pottery in West Bengal can be traced back to the Neolithic ages. Prehistoric archaeological evidence indicates a Neolithic stage of civilization in West Bengal. These have been largely collected from the districts on the border of Chota Nagpur and the Santhal Parganas that includes the regions of Bankura, Midnapore, Purulia, Birbhum and a part of Burdwan which has wedged itself in between Bankura and Birbhum (Asansol subdivision). This region is perhaps geologically, and also historically, oldest in Bengal.
In Bishnupur, Chaurigacha and Katalia and some other places in Midnapore and Bankura, perhaps the most primitive method of hand-modelled pottery is still pursued, and that almost exclusively by women. Moreover, in general, it has been observed that big jars are usually prepared by men, and comparatively small pots are made by women” (Saraswati and Behura). This is also largely true of West Bengal. To know more read:

http://www.indianetzone.com/41/clay_craft_west_bengal.htm

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