AGE: – Estimate early 20th Century or earlier
CONSTRUCTION:- Metal (brass)
DESCRIPTION:- Traditional Dhokra Art Indian Figure | Indian Deity Vishnu
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Traditional Dhokra Art Indian Figure | Indian Deity Vishnu made using the lost-wax casting technique. These figures referred to as Dokhra metal art or crafts have been made in India since ancient times and was once widespread throughout India and is now a dying art-form. The traditional themes of these cast metal sculptures include images of Hindu Or ‘tribal’ gods and goddesses, human type figures, bowls, deities riding elephants, musicians, horse and rider, birds and domestic animals.
The name ‘Dhokra’ was previously used to indicate a group of nomadic craftsmen, scattered over Bengal, Orissa and Madhya Pradesh in India.
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This form of art was mainly practiced by groups of non-Hindu, semi nomadic artisans called Dhokras. Some of the Dhokra families appear to have migrated into the alluvial plains of Bengal, finally settling around centres such as Bankura, Burdwan, Purulia and Midnapur.
The dhokra makers used to move from village to village in the south western districts, repairing old and broken utensils and selling small images of Lakshmi, her mount, the owl, Lakshmi Narayan riding on an elephant and Radha and Krishna in different postures, all made in a very primitive folk style.
Images such as these were installed in the household shrines of newly married Hindu couples to bring prosperity and happiness. They also made and sold decorative caskets in different shapes and sizes, purchased by housewives for various purposes. Measuring bowls were made in several different sizes and were considered symbols of Lakshmi, therefore highly prized by those villagers who could afford them.