When wooden dolls speak...

Carved to perfection

Colourful Traditional wooden dolls. PHOTO BY DILIP BANERJEE

To begin with, craftsmen draw outlines with pencils on the surface of the wood and then carve out images with the help of chisels. Usually, crafted images are painted with artificial colours but sometimes the original colour of wood is retained to obtain a natural look. Sometimes, powdered colour is also used for painting which is then dried under the sun. In an effort to lend wooden pieces of art extra sheen and endurance, a special kind of burnish is used on the colour.

While the figures of deities are immensely popular among people, images of owls in different shapes and sizes are equally popular.

However, many skillful craftsmen engaged this distinct craft are forced to quit their ancestral profession now due to the lack of government support. If the situation doesn’t change for the better, there may soon come a day when this form of craft will be found only in museums.

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