The Evolution & History
Dokra art is one of the earliest forms of art which was started late back 4500 years ago by a metal sculptor of Mohenjodaro civilization or the Indus Valley Civilization. He created masterpieces that were amazing. using some lost wax casting technique. The legendary masterpiece of Mohenjodaro is the dancing girl artifact. This is the reason why most of the artifacts found from this civilization are of human and animal figurines. The civilization was also known for making various other handcrafted things like cups, plates, measuring bowls, lampshades, religious deities, etc.
The discovery of this masterpiece or the dokra art proved that once 4500 years ago a very flourishing and advanced civilization existed in the basin of the Indus Valley River. The civilization was close to the river because they could source water from the river Indus for their daily livelihood. A planned city, with well-settled houses, complex, styles, roads, drains, arts, was existing.
The artisans were very intelligent, as they used to portray their lifestyle in their art, which we could see through the artifacts today. This fabled, extremely demanding art technique is also used in ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, Greece, and China. But today, the nomadic Dhokra tribes are mostly settled all over the regions of Chhattisgarh, Odisha, and few parts of Andhra Pradesh.
Dhokra Art and Dokra handicrafts are high in demand, because of the primitive simplicity it carries. The civilization, or the craftsman, or the metalsmiths didn’t have much exposure to the outside world, so their artwork was limited to their lifestyle only. But inspired by ancient craftsmen, the modern Dokhra artisans use the same metal-casting process, with the same lost wax techniques to create exquisite, bronze sculptures and figurines.
The technique by which 9nce only human and animal figurines were made, now it has evolved and is used to make modern handicraft items like dokra jewelry, tableware, boxes, dokhra idols, dokra statues, and more. A very unusual thing about Dokra is, no one can copy Dokra, every piece is unique because the design influences every artisan’s thought process in different ways. So every piece and detail are unique on their own. Dokra people believe in utmost gender equality, so both men and women work together to learn the entire process and bring out exquisite and high-quality masterpieces every time.
On the Verge of Extinction:
Dokra handicrafts have been very fascinating because of their intricate detailing and designs, but it’s very unfortunate that this beautiful art is facing an obvious decline. The gradual increase in the cost of raw materials, making it way costlier to find ideal customers or buyers. This process uses one mold at a time to produce one figurine. So, automatically the raw materials cost more. Due to the lack of inspiration, even the artisans are showing fewer interests in producing and creating such masterpieces.
Still, the love for Dokra is not dead, the craftsmen are gradually passing down and teaching the art from generation to generation.
Sonajuri Arts : The Savior and Warrior of Dhokra Art:
Sonajuri Arts are reaching a wider audience like the collectors and art connoisseurs of dokra metalwork from all across the globe. Because of the layers of tradition and historical influences, we are trying to spread the intrinsic starkness and vitality of the art form created by these skilled craftsmen. With the primitive techniques and lack of access to modern technology, there is a delay in production, but Sonajuri Arts are bridging the gaps to find the market for these skilled Dhokra artisans. Still, there is a huge demand for this artform both commercially and internationally in the markets of cities like London, Paris, Milan.
Sonajuri Arts was created to uplift the Indian and Indian rural artisans and their families especially to provide them with the primary health and education of their children. Our vision is to create a bigger picture of art, than what exists today. We are continuously trying to oversee and spread the rural arts and handicrafts from dwindling away.
Sonajuri Arts endeavors to support every artisan not just by promoting what they make, but also by helping them with ideas and designs to match the changing tastes, needs, and modern preferences, of the audience to help them hit the wider markets.
Go through our website to know more about the products of Sonajuri Arts