The State of West Bengal is known for its great heritage of Artistic works and handicrafts. Generally, the technique to make handicrafts items has been confined in the family or in a particular community and it passes from generation to generation. especially women of the household have been engaged in making of various handicrafts for extra income for the family. In the early age, people used to interchange their handmade items for necessity. But in a change of era handmade items has been used not only for house hold purposes, but also for home decorations. Now in resent time Bengal handicrafts has its worldwide market for their richness in art and crafts, genuinely and price.
Though there are plenty of handmade items available in Bengal, following are primary crafts for which Bengal is known.
Korai Mat: Making of Korai pai mat is the cottage industry in the State of West Bengal. In local Bengali language it is known as Madur. This cottage handicraft industry has been developed in both the district of Medinipur and Dakshin Dinajpur.
Korai pai or Madur kathi is a plant and scientifically under the Cyperaceae family. Traditional floor mat, Designer folding mat, Masland mat, Various types of bags and wallet, wall hangers for home decorations etc. are made from korai pai and prefect gestures of artistic works.
Dockra: Dokra is the metal craft, made from generally brass. This type of craft has been in use from very primitive age. The ‘dancing girl’ of Mohenjo- daro civilization is the perfect example of this craft. In the District of Bankura, Birbhum, Burdwan and Purulia are famous for this Bengal Dockra. Primitive simplicity has given this artistic craft worldwide recognition.
Terracotta: Terracotta is a type of sculpture made from refine soil. West Bengal is very famous for terracotta crafts and ornaments. In the district of Bankura, Purulia, Malda and Kolkata are recognised for this craft.
Cane and bamboo: Various types of furniture, mats, lamp shades, trays, baskets are weaved from cane and bamboo. Specially the Coochbehar and Bankura districts are the famous for this craft.
Patahitra or Scroll Printing: Scroll printing or commonly known as Patachitra stands on special foot among the all other artistic work in the State of West Bengal. It is, generally women artisans use to draw incidents of daily life, religious matters and epic stories on a heavy fabric by natural colour. Specially, in the district of Paschim Medinipur and Kolkata, this form of art has been practised by the artisans.
Solapith: Solapith is a type of craft made from sola or Indian Cork, a spongy plant grown in the water. The white-milky wood of this cork has been Mainly Though headgear of Hindu bride and bride grooms, ornaments of Hindu Gods have been primarily made from this item, but at present Solapith has been used for making decorative items. This kind of product often called ‘ herbal ivory’. Mainly, in the districts of Murshidaabad, Malda, Birbhum are famous for this craft.
Craft of Conch shell: It is one of the most beautiful craft available in Bengal. Idols, ornaments and other home decorative beautiful crafts has been made from conch shell, which is a natural conch find in the ocean. In Hindu Mythology, crafts made from conch shell have very aesthetic value. Purba Medinipur is famous for this type of craft.
Kantha: It is one type of embroidery, made on cloth by running stitching of beautiful motifs. Birbhum, Murshidabad, Bardwan are the main places where this artistic craft has been practising.
West Bengal is believed to be the motherland of handicraft artistic works in India and in every corner of the State is establishing of this fact. Bengal Handicrafts now has got the world wide recognition. So, handicrafts are not only has the artistic value but also the monetary value as well.