Rajasthan is famous for its towering forts, exquisite palaces, lush green forests, beautiful deserts and most importantly its rich history in the field of arts and crafts. We often find some of these arts in remote villages of Rajasthan such as dhurries(carpets) in and around Bikaner, and white marble carvings in and around Ajmer. Although these handicrafts are quickly getting forgotten, but because of the sheer dedication of the local artisans these crafts are still alive and getting the attention of the world. We will talk more about some of the handicrafts in detail now.
Dhurries or Carpets
Dhurries are thick woven floor coverings made of natural fibers like cotton,wool,jute and silk. Dhurries designs are more tribal inspired and are light weight than a rug. Dhurries are manufactured by highly skilled artisans of Rajasthan in looms.
White marble carvings are one of the most famous handicrafts of Rajasthan. White marble, pink Dholpur, green Kota, white and grey soapstones are used to make beautiful statues of idols, figurines, and even decorative plants. These sculptures can range from small 9-10 inches to a whooping 6-7 feet figurines.
Rajasthani artisans are well known for their woodwork. Like marble carvings wood is also used to design beautiful figurines of animals and idols. A well known and famous wooden handicrafts are wooden puppets which are used for decorations indoors and outdoors. These wooden handicrafts weigh much less than the marble statues so these are quite easy to export.
Highly skilled Rajasthani cobblers use leather to make highly durable Jutties/footwear. The cobblers first beats the leather and then use various dyes to make the leather more fitting. Then the cobbler punches and gouges the leather to create beautiful patterns and designs.
These include ‘Shish Thela’. Shish Thela are small pouches made from colorful silk strand. Artists wove these strands together with colorful cloth and decorative mirrors. ‘Shish’ means mirror and ‘thela’ means bag or a pouch.