5000 years ago, when the world was largely occupied by societies in the earliest stages of living a settled life, our ancestors were already skilled in making fine pottery and sculptures as well as weaving and jewellery making. India has a rich legacy of handicrafts right from the ancient times, and there is no corner of the country that is not famous for some form of handicraft. Indian handicrafts are also coveted the world over by people wanting to own something beautiful and meaningful from this ancient land, and it is no wonder that many Indian homes proudly display some element of this heritage. First let us take a brief look at the history of Indian handicrafts.
Indian Handicrafts Through the Ages
Handicrafts refer to utility or decorative items made using hand tools or even mechanical tools but relying on the skill of the craftsman. The materials employed in the process may be natural, recycled or industrially processed. When the craftsmen use their skills and technical know-how to create an artefact or product, they are also transferring their cultural heritage, world views and the way of life of the region to a tangible object. Which is why, owning a handicraft is like owning a piece a of heritage of the region it comes from.
The earliest known handicraft in India was pottery and the ancients were known to use clay, wood and metal to create their offerings. In later days, sculpture saw a huge awakening and the many Stupas built during the Maurya Age are evidence of the complex and sophisticated skills of the artisans of the days. Following this age, there were great strides made in the fields of jewellery making, textiles, leather and metal works. The Ajanta and Ellora caves, carved during the Gupta Age, are a proud chapter in Indian Handicrafts history. The Mughal period constitutes a golden era for Indian handicrafts and everything from painting to inlay work, textiles, glass engraving, carpet weaving and enamel work flourished. From these heights, Indian handicrafts entered a period of decline during the period of colonial rule. Thankfully the skills and know-how of the traditional artisans survived and in post-Independence India, there has once again been a great acceptance of the importance of this wonderful aspect of our cultural heritage.
Types of Indian Handicrafts
Here is a breakdown of some of the most important handicrafts that India is famous for.
From elegantly carved doors and furniture to toys for children, wood work is a flourishing industry in different parts of India. Purely utilitarian items like tables can also display the wonderful talent of the artisans involved. To see the diverse applications of wood in Indian handicrafts online, just head over to Woodsala and you will be bowled over by the beautiful objects on display.
Clay craft and pottery sees many forms in different parts of India. From household pots to figures of gods and goddesses and even roofing or flooring tiles, earthenware has a huge place in the life of rural India. From Srinagar to Karnataka and Manipur to Rajasthan, each state of India has a special kind of clay craft the region is famous for.
Even in the earliest days of civilisation in India, our ancestors were skilled in metal craft. Iron and copper were the materials of choice in the older days but now it is bronze that takes the centre stage in the form of beautiful figurines and objects related to prayer and devotion.
There are enough stone temples and sculptures across the length and breadth of our country to show the expertise of Indian craftsmen in stone work. Even now, stone work in the form of household objects and even jewellery is made and coveted all over the country.
Indian children grow up to the tales of valiant princes and princesses adorned in beautiful jewellery. It is no wonder then that jewellery making is such a thriving industry. From gold and precious stones to terracotta and shell, Indian jewellery is intricate and fascinating and turns any one into the princes and princesses of their dreams.
There is hardly any region of Indian that does not have an authentic fabric to its name. Various forms of embroidery and painting compete to make each rival the others in aesthetic appeal. Along with clothes, carpets also display the sheer creativity of the craftsmen.
Anywhere you travel in India, be sure to pick up a piece of traditional Indian handicraft. It will not only add value to your home, it will also be your salute to the artisans of the area and the skill and legacy behind each such piece.
Here is How to Incorporate Indian Handicrafts into Your Home Décor
Even if you have a contemporary style aesthetic in your home, the magic of Indian handicrafts is how well they can merge into any theme. The best way to use some traditional handicrafts in your home is to make use of wooden artefacts. They are subtle and elegant and truly representative of our rich cultural legacy. Here are some amazing picks for your home.
Intricate Carved Circle of Art
This breathtakingly beautiful work of art available on Woodsala deserves a wall on its own! It can be the focal point of your living room, placed on an accent wall or even create an interesting wall art for your foyer.
These beautifully carved realistic looking miniatures offer great visual appeal and are wonderful conversation starters too. Place by themselves on a side table or a wall rack to add a quirky element to any room in your house.
Teak Wood Traditional Pillar
Bring home a bit of traditional with these intricately carved wooden pillars that bring to mind the temples of your childhood. Place these in a bare corner to immediately command attention.
Wooden chests were an integral part of a bride’s trousseau in the olden days. They possess exceptional beauty and can be useful to store your precious jewellery. Wooden chests are a great way to honour your heritage and add charm to your home.
The choices are unlimited when it comes to wooden handicrafts. From purely utilitarian items like trays and candle holders to objects of alluring beauty like doors and vases, there any numerous ways in which you can incorporate them into your home. Check Woodsala for more amazing ideas for wooden handicrafts for your home.
Whatever the type of Indian handicraft you would love to put up in your home, it is something to respect and cherish as representing a rich legacy of our culture and the skills of an artisan who has painstakingly worked on every aspect of it.