Re-tinning of copper utensils at Adamar Mutt

Re-tinning of copper utensils at Adamar Mutt

Copper vessels that are more than 300 years old at the Adamar Mutt.

The old copper vessels at Adamar Mutt will get new life as professionals embark on the task of re-tinning them.

Cyprian D’Silva Barkur and Peter D’Souza Barkur, senior experts in making and re-tinning copper vessels, demonstrated at ‘Patra’, a day-long workshop on Saturday organised to create awareness on the benefits of using copper vessels.

Special skills

Stoking the fire for welding, the 71-year-old Peter D’Souza Barkur explained that the work of a copper-smith demanded special skills and he had learnt them from his elder brothers. “Each piece requires long hours of work, patience and plenty of effort,” he explained.

The 85-year-old Cyprian cut a thin ring of copper, got another sheet and then shaped a pot. He placed the sheet in a pit where a fire burned and welded them. As the copper burned red, Cyprian stoked the flames, making sparks fly. Ash flakes swirled around and stung the eyes. Cyprian, hardly aware of it, wiped the sweat, brought the sheets out of the smithy and hammered them hard.

The skill of the brothers, unknown to many, has still helped them eke out a living as it has for the last 60 years.

Culture of copper

Artist Purushotham Adve, who coordinated the workshop, said Udupi is famous for its food culture. “We wanted to show people the deeply rooted culture of copper utensils in the kitchen as the culture is being phased out with the dominance of Aluminium and stainless steel vessels,” he said.

Adamar Mutt seer Sri Eshapriya Theertha said that the workshop was organised for the benefit of the common people. The Mutt wished to make the people aware of how the tradition of copper vessels was being neglected by the present day society.

“In the Ashta Mutts of Udupi, copper utensils are extensively used in the kitchen. It is also mandatory to re-tin the copper utensils when the vessels begin to discolour. As the utensils in out Mutt had to be re-tinned, we decided to conduct a workshop to help people learn about the re-tinning procedure,” he explained.

As the utensils gained back their glow, the enthusiasts could not help but applaud the workmanship of the dwindling tribe of copper-smiths.