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States


 


Handicrafts

Jewellery and Gem Stones

Each area has its own unique style that follows the age-old traditions. Be it the regal and classic forms of jewellery adorned by the Royals, Aristocrats and Nobles done in real Gold, Platinum with precious stones embedded to lend glamour or the rural who prefer the reasonable, chunky Silver or the cheap metal with coloured glass cuts to give it an effect.

Some of the most charming and attractive hand crafted jewellery comes from Rajasthan. Rajasthan is famous for its jewellery industry and it is one of the world's largest centre for hand-cutting of gems. It is India's important source for precious and semi precious stones like; Ruby , Emerald , Garnets , Agate , Amethyst , Topaz , Lapis lazuli , Carnelian , etc.

Rajasthan is known for the art of silver smithy, beginning from anklets to earrings to head gears. A lot of effort goes into its making since most of the rural communities wear silver ornaments. Besides silver, it is known for its Lac bangles, Kundan and Minakari , enameled gold jewellery, uncut diamonds and emerald-cutting. Another most exclusive art is ' thewa ' from Chittaur popular for its gold work on glass. Some of the traditional adornments are Rakhdi (head ornament), Tussi (necklace), Baju Bandh (armlet), Adah (special neclace worn by Rajputs), Gokhrus (bracelets), Pajebs (anklets), etc.

Kundan ,the art of setting stones in gold famous in Bikaner and Jodhpur.

Minakari is the Art of enamelling in gold and silver for other metal (meenakari can be done in precious, semi precious gems or the cheaper coloured glass also. it is made in Jaipur, Nathdwara and Pratapgarh.

Regal and exquisite Ornaments
Made in precious and semi precious gems. (Ex. Ruby, Emerald, Pearl, Blue Sapphire. It is made in Jaipur and Jodhpur. Jaipur market holds the monopoly in the jewellery houses all over India and in the global arena too. This colourful market is popular as the name of JOHARI BAZAAR which ranks among the most exclusive jewellery markets in the world. The variety of ranges is beyond compare and not only does it cater for the elites or the high socialites but a vast collection of semi-precious and silver creations are at display in reasonable prices too. An exclusive Rajasthani traditional work of art is of setting precious stones (diamond chips, precious gems, ) in solid 22-carat gold, the design and workmanship is beyond compare. It is famous of Jaipur and Jodhpur.

Lac work
Bangles are most exclusive and auspicious for a Rajasthani women. Lac work bangles are a sign of good omen. Made in astonishing design and variety, using

flat colours, some marbled while others flash a white shining reflection from shine stone or tiny mirrors( with intricate cuts). Glass Bangles in astonishing colours are a delight with the Indian women. Although accessible in most of the parts of Rajasthan, its collection is exclusive in Jaipur and Jodhpur.

Paintings

Paintings are nowhere more vibrant and expressing than that of Rajasthan. Tradition of pa inting traces back to the dawn of civilisation. Traces of earth colour drawings on walls and intricate motifs of geometrical and natural designs on clay vessels and potteries have been unearthed in the proto-historic Harappan sites of Kalibangan and Peelibanga in north-western Rajasthan. And these traditions of decorating dwellings and articles are still alive. Rajasthan, is known for its miniature paintings, reflecting an incredible portfolio of scenes from myth and legend to history to nature. The variation in art of painting ranges from Wall paintings on Palaces to huts, Miniature paintings , Phad and Pichwais . Though many use synthetic colours, the traditional painters use mineral and vegetable dyes. The cost of the painting depends on an artist's workmanship.

Miniature Paintings
This is the most visible and widely prevalent type of painting, colourful pictures painted in glowing mineral and vegetable colours on hand-made papers. The miniature painter did not lack patronage. Seven styles in different kingdoms developed rapidly (the technique was similar to wall paintings, cloth and manuscripts illustrations) used initially manuscripts for text illustrations, they gradually evolved as portfolios of the life and times of their Royal patrons. The miniature tradition goes back at least to the 11th century. Later the Mughal influence though their style was of Mughal court style, yet the painters by the 17th century settled for traditional idioms and regional elements. And the modern miniature painting speaks of those age-old traditions of Rajasthan.

Phads & Pichwais
The ancient tradition of scroll painting survives in Rajasthan as Phad. A typical Phad is a long rectangular coarse cloth with paintings illustrating the life and heroic exploits of the two popular folks heroes Pabuji and Dev Narain. It displays much of the tradition in narrative form. Painted by the Joshis of Shahpura, near Bhilwara based on subjects like Bhagavad purana or other popular folk stories.

The Pichwais are refined works of art, created to be used as backdrops in the Srinathji at Nathdwara. They contain the figure of Srinathji (attired with a variety of costumes) and scenes of Nathdwara festival. These could be painted, printed with hand blocks, woven, embroidered or decorated in appliqué form.

Folk Painting
Usually done for some specific occasions like marriage, birth ceremony and other festivals. This tradition is found in villages and rural areas practised by various tribes. They are very original, fresh and done with raw-hand.

Leatherware
The  hides  of  dead  animals  is  used  by  skilled  cobblers  for  Jooties (foot-wear), chairs, musical instruments, mojaries, etc. The  Jooties  reflect  the  unique  style  of  every  district  they  belong  to. It  is  amazing how  the leather is  beaten, tanned and dyed  and put to the best use. The leather is punched and gouged  to create patterns, studded, sequined and even  embroidered  with  woolen motifs. Cities  like  Jaipur, Jodhpur, Barmer, Jaisalmer  is famous for  Jooties, musical instruments (like Tabla, Dhol, Dhapli), stringed instruments (Kamayacha) made out of leather. Bikaner is best  known  for painted Lampshades, shields, vases, Mojharies made out of camel hide. Hard Bag, belts, hats, chairs, foldable chairs with graphic embroideries are from Tilonia .
Stone Carving
White marble, pink Dholpur, green Kota, white and grey soapstone everything is used to make elegant statuary, idols, figurines, carved panels, even elaborate jharokhas for gardens and pavilions. One of Rajasthan's most enduring arts that is evident in its prevalence in homes all over the state, stone carving is both an artistic as well as an industrial product.
Metal Craft
Some of the finest metal work in Rajasthan uses enamelled silver that is used for everything from pill-boxes to figurines. Brass enamel is less expensive, and more prevalent from table-tops to dancing peacocks, caparisoned elephants, dancing camels, swords and shields .In recent years, wrought iron has become popular, though this is more contemporary in its usage, than traditional.
Textile
The Textile of Rajasthan has a fascinating range of dyed and block printing fabrics. Each state has its own special colour-scheme design and technique. The various types of Textile are:-

Hand-block prints- the quilts of Sanganer, Bagru are the favourites.
Tie and dye- Bandhej, Bandani, Lehriya, Batik, Mothra, Ekdali, Shikari, Cheent comes under this category.
Bandhej- Bandhej of Jodhpur, Sikar, Jaisalmer, Barmer, Pali, Udaipur, Jaipur is more popular.
The lehriya is an entire line of cloth is dyed in different colours. Udaipur's lehriya work is well known.
Samdar Lehar , Phagun are the designs to be worn in the spring season.

Textile and fabric colouring and dying can be seen at length in the communities of Leelgarhs and Rangrez. The Chunari and Bandhej ( the art of tying a small point on the clo th by threads and later dyed with the required colours . After drying when opened, there is a small circle in the white splashed around the fabric)is known as tie and dye. Jodhpur, Jaipur, Bikaner are famous for this. In addition, the art of embellished fabrics with embroidery using thread-work, mirror work or gold brocade is prevalent.

Block Printing
in vegetable dyes is another famous art. Carved wooden blocks soaked in different colours and pasted on the fabric. Main Market of these products are Jaipur, Sanganer and Bagru.
Zari - Gota, zardosi, banarsi for formal and bridal ensembles, metallic and threaded embroidery.
Blue pottery
An art form, from Persia under the patronage of Maharaja Ram singhji was first introduced in Rajasthan. A new art form with a fascinating recipe of distinctive material like the ground quartz stone. The colour schemes are also peculiar like, blue (oxide of cobalt), Green (oxide of copper) and the external white.
Some of the pottery is semi- translucent and lately is been experimented with other colours such as , yellow, dark blue and brown. The conventional floral or arabesque, hand made patterns and the animal figure patterns are the prominent designs. The various articles shaped out are mostly the traditional ones like surahis or pots of different shapes and size for multiple use, ashtray, tiles, flower pots, lamp shades, jars various accessories or interior items are the forte of this art of pottery.
Terracota
An age old craft in Rajasthan saw dust, mashed and mixed finely with mud and clay in a semi solid paste on which the image is sculpted and later dried and polished in colour retaining its natural hue, they make best of decorative items with authentic ethnicity .
Every village and community has its potters, and the pots for everyday use along with other storing vessels , hookahs, chillums, coin-banks ,pickle jars,etc...
Places where they made are:

Alwar: for paper thin kagji pottery.
Bikaner: known for its painted pottery tinted with lac colours.
Jaisalmer: stone wares
Molela (near Udaipur): wall plaques generally depicting the images of Heroes or the religious ones.
Pokaran: the potters make tiny bells with clay that resound like their bellmetal counterparts.
Dhurries And Carpets
The dhurrie, a simple rug that was once used as an underlay, has now become one of the state's best known weaving traditions. Weavers sit on looms in villages, creating an interesting blend of patterns- mostly geometric, sometimes floral- in an exciting combination of colours. Made from cotton yarn, in areas such as Bikaner and Jaisalmer, the camel-hair, woolen dhurrie too is available. In areas around Tonk, namdahs or felted rugs are manufactured.

Carpets first began to be manufactured in Rajasthan when weavers from Afghanistan were installed in the royal ateliers in the 17th century. Ever since, they have flourished here, with their exuberant colours and geometric motifs finding their way into showrooms around the world. Naturally they are available in the bazaars at a price far lower than they command in stores overseas.
Wooden Artefacts

Wood-sometimes plain often painted- is used to make everything from furniture to artefacts.While the furniture ranges from the made-as old that is such a range all over the world, its contemporary variants include chairs with  painted backs, camel-hide stools, marble-top tables and carved cabinets.

Artefacts include a range of animal -horses ,elephants, parrots- that are beautifully painted as well as boxes, chests snuff boxes and other interesting paraphernalia including dancing figurines and dwarpals or guardians of the doors.


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