The last link of village carpentry

The last link of village carpentry

The last link of village carpentry

Occupation in villages reflects the base of the socio-economic culture prevalent in the rural areas of the country.

Many traditional professions such as blacksmith, goldsmith, cobbler, potter and washerman are declining and slowly disappearing.

The occupation scenario in rural areas has changed mainly due to the changing economical scenario. The invention of new technologies has encouraged the villagers to take up new occupations.

Hullappa of Kithandur in Srinivaspur taluk is the last link to traditional carpentry. He makes wooden implements used in agriculture. Hullappa is an agriculturist. But during the summer and beginning of the monsoon, when he is free, he makes agricultural implements for the farmers of his village.

The carpenter is one of the most useful artisans in the village. The people of a large village usually have a carpenter living in their midst. But when the village is small, the carpenter has to take the work from other villages in order to earn a proper livelihood.


He makes the yoke and other wooden implements for ploughing, the handles for hoes, spades, axes, weeding tools, sickles and other necessary implements for agricultural purposes and for the irrigation of land. But with the arrival of tractors and other modern agricultural implements, the demand for traditional  implements which need wood and carpentry skills, is slowly declining.

The traditional village carpenter makes ornamental doorposts, and also doors, rafters, plain bedsteads and stools of various sizes for domestic use. At the time of village festivals, according to the requirements of the occasion, he makes portable cars (pallaki) for taking idols in procession. Many temples in villages have large and magnificent ornamental cars (chariots) and these are made by skilful carpenters. Some carpenters have specialised in making bullock carts.

Hullappa is over 60 years old, but his enthusiasm for carpentry work has not diminished. Carpentry is Hullappa’s family trade. His grandfather and father were carpenters too.  He worked with them and learnt this trade. He does not demand a fixed amount for the making of implements. In the past he even made them for free. But now the inflation has hit him too. “The new generation is not interested in my trade, even if I am willing to teach it. Therefore I am the last link to this trade in this village,” says Hullappa.

The wood required to make these implements, Indian beech tree (honge) and tamarind, are also not easily available. It was not difficult to get the wood when there was natural greenery around the village, he adds.