Bastar: The Vanishing Tribal Art
Bastar Art derived it’s name from Bastar, a tribal district of Chhattisgarh with the population of about 70% in the district. In this area, people are divided into different tribes & each tribe has its own culture and a way of living. They are different from each other in many ways such as groups have a different tradition, languages they speak differ from each other, attire, worship customs, eating habits and much more. You might find it strange that in the 21st century there are many tribal groups living in the deep forest and unaware of this changing world.
BASTAR ART OF CHHATTISGARH
The tribal groups who are still living in Bastar district are as follows: Abhuj Maria, Bison Horn Maria, Bhatra, Dhurvaa, Gonds, Halbaa, Muria and etc. Among the tribes, Gonds are the largest group of tribal community of central India.
The tribal society of Bastar is popular for their work that includes magnificent handicrafts in different shapes and sizes. The craft work incorporate wood-carvings, Bell metal products, terracotta items, bamboo decorative pieces.
Bastar, being a dense forest region having the finest quality of teak and different sorts of woods from which exceptionally alluring wooden-cutting artworks and different sorts of furniture are being made by the talented and experienced hands of the Artist. You can get these attractive handicrafts in shops of Jagdalpur easily.
The tribes of Bastar are the skilled Artist making handcrafted terracotta products. Terracotta is finest quality clay obtained from the river Indrāvati. Decorative terracotta items mostly depicts elephants, tigers, deer, table lights and etc.
Bastar tribal is also skilled in making items from bamboo that incorporates the items such as wall hanging, table lights, table mats, fishing traps, baskets and hunting tools.
Cotton Fabrics are one of the popular and appealing craft work made by the tribal people of Bastar. These are made of Kosa string which is produced from a worm found in the forest. The hand printing is commonly done with the natural vegetable dye extracted from aal, found in the Bastar forest. The fabrics use to make dress material, drapes and cotton sari, popularly known as Bastar Kosa Saree.
Bell Metal Handicrafts
The Bastar tribes are popular in making bell metal handicrafts which are created by hand through the vanishing wax system. The bell metal handicraft incorporates items such as elephant, deer, bull, horse, lamp shades, hangers, boxes, and baskets of different shapes and sizes.
The bell metal art of Bastar zone prominently known as “Dhokra Craft” is found in Jagdalpur Kondagoan and Narayanpur areas. The Dhokla specialty is asserted to be age-old art being transmitted from one generation to another.
Eco-friendly beautiful wood products are been loved by all age group people. India is being blessed with the Mother Nature and given several useful trees to get unique wood items from. Woodcraft is a standout among the most renowned delightful and extraordinary specialty of wooden cutting of Bastar tribals.
These wooden artworks are made out of the finest teak wood and white wood. These wooden specialties incorporate models, furniture things and so forth among the furniture, Deewan (Cot with box) is exceptionally celebrated and alluring since it includes the craft of cutting with various pictures of Bastar culture and different plans of intrigue. These crafted works are for the most part traded to better places of the nation, and these wood items are also been requested to be export to foreign countries.
Woodcraft from the tribal belt of Bastar is known for figures of tribal gods, cut wooden masks, and wall decorative items. Chhattisgarh is additionally well known for painted and lacquered wood item, for example, toys, boxes, bedposts, flower vase, candle holder cots.
The woodcarving workmanship has been thriving in Chhattisgarh from time immemorial and one can discover flawlessly cut wooden items planned by the expert of the State.
The skilled artisans of Bastar make magnificent items and home décors such as a wooden ceiling, doors using various types of wood like shisham, teak, dhudi, sal and kikar. The specialists likewise make the mask, window frames, furniture, decorative pieces, and sculptures.
Keeping The Art Alive
To keep alive the Bastar Art, several NGO’s came together and done multiple exercise in Chhattisgarh and other parts of India. Several policies are also made in order to support the tribal groups and families involve in this traditional art and craft.
The tribal Bastar Art have been promoted internationally also, which in favor bought the exposure to the tribal communities & increased their confidence in work.
These promotional stunts, exhibitions are of great help for the Artist working behind and help to raise their living standards.