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Dhokra art

-Dokra (also called Dhokra) art is an ancient method of making metal artifacts by a wax-casting technique. An art that is 4000-5000 years old, its earliest known lost wax artefact is the dancing girl of Mohenjodaro. The name comes from the Dokra tribes, the metal-workers of Bastar, Chhattisgarh. Distant cousins of this tribe also extend from Jharkhand to West Bengal and Orissa. Today, Dokra art is admired all over the world for its primeval simplicity and enchanting folk motifs

-The process of making Dokra is fascinating and uses only natural raw materials. The basic mold is made with fine sand (mostly found next to the river banks) and clay. Goat and cow dung or husk is added to the principal material then layered with pure beeswax found in the jungle where the craftsmen reside. Wax threads are then prepared and wound around the clay mold until its entire surface is covered uniformly. After this, decorative aspects are added. The clay is then cooked over a furnace where the wax comes out from the drain ducts. The furnace is built above ground with bricks and natural fuel (charcoal, cow dung or coal). The wax burns in the furnace leaving a free channel for the metal to flow. Molten metal (mainly brass and bronze) is poured inside the mold. The molds are taken out after the metal has melted, and half-an-hour later, water is sprinkled to cool them. They are then broken and the cast figures are removed. The portions are retouched and are meticulously scoured at the river with clean sand to give the products a soft polished look. Normally, a simple figurine could take anywhere between over fifteen to thirty days to make.

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