Art and Craft of Baripada

Baripada is a city famous for its natural landscapes and sights. Being located in the lap of Mother Nature the city of Baripada is blessed with several natural resources and tourist destinations. There are also several tribes that are located in the deep forests of Baripada especially in the forests of Similipal. The art and craft of the city of Baripada is mostly dependent on the tribal community that has their presence in the city and the nearby places to a great extent.

Artwork of Baripada

Handicrafts in Baripada

The handicrafts being manufactured in the city if Baripada along with the nearby places of it are stated to be the vital part of the rich artistic inheritance of entire district of Mayurbhanja. In the ever changing time of today there is also a major change that took place in the attitude towards the art and the craft of the city as well. Previously these were the only source reliable for the source of earning of the tribes of Baripada and which now changed into their professions and are now being also supported by the government in promoting them among the modern generation. The handicrafts being crafted here at Baripada are the signs of the cognizant artistic loom towards the art of the tribal society. The prime concept behind these art pieces so made was basically inspired from the permeating each and every thing that is used in the daily life and were also crafted with the artistic approach and with all the care being taken care about the glamour that is added to the handicrafts made.

The handicrafts which commenced being crafted in the current time were the merged form of the forces that were influencing the present day industrialization with immense effects and high power mechanization which made these lose their prime focus in every perspective. Several attempts were also made in order to look for a new market place to make these crafts get the value they are worth of. It became very necessary at times to acclimatize the changes that took places in the near past in designing these handmade craft pieces and to improvise them in all aspects. At the mean time violence from the traditional folk characters and the pastoral verve of these handicrafts made and designed at the city of Baripada are also been take care of.

The craftsmen involved in these traditions are also trained for decades and they are in this profession since their generations and now they have also the idea of the changing trends which is enabling them also to change their style of work and to deliver according to the demands of the modern day customers. The present day designs and motifs are being made without vulgarizing them.

The Handicrafts made in Baripada and nearby small villages surrounding the city are offered in numerous forms and are made up of various materials and finalized to various tools known as the Dhokra, Artistic Mats, Wooden items painted on it with various designs, carved stones, toys which are lacquered, Verities of Jewelry, Bamboo and cane products, Terracotta, wares made of metals, A special Grass product made of Sabai grass, Folk traditional paintings, Tassar Textiles and sea shells etc. The prime handicrafts being developed here are the clusters which are originated from the Dhokra casting and the Grass products.

Dhokra – The Art of Metal Casting

There is a famous metals available in the entire district of Mauyurbhanja especially the nearby villages of Baripada known as the Sithulias or the Dhokra which are the believed to be the best examples of the metal castings done in Baripada. The Dhokras are said to be the tribes which are somewhere common with that of the tribes of Keonjhar and Dhenkanal and are involved in formatting the metal casting products to be used for the house held activities. The Dhokras are the roving tribes which do not tend to locate at any particular place and were found relocating in several parts of the entire district. Most of them were often seen at the villages of Baripada at many times.

The art of Dhokra tribes is the one discovered centuries back and hence it has its demand for the uniqueness. These artisans then started settling into the villages of Baripada and started working on this year old traditional work of art. The main raw materials being used for making these art pieces are the charcoal, the bell-metals, wax, and the fine bee-hives. Presently there are more than 300 artisan are working on these art pieces and are trading them at various location of the district. This is the only source of income for these tribes as they are dependent on it since generations and are also the expert artisans as well.

The Sabai-Grass Products of Baripada   

There is a special grass which is being cultivated in various nearby villages of Baripada which is known as the Sabai-Grass. These grasses are used in making the ropes and several other products. The most famous products that are mad by these Sabai-Grasses are the Charpai which are the floor mats being used in every households of the state. The ropes which are being made by these grasses are known as the Sabai Ropes and are these ropes are believed to be very strong enough than that of the plastic ones. The other products which are made of these Sabai-Grasses are the Chairs, Sofas, Tea tables and many more.

These are also used in the paper manufacturing. The grass which is used in manufacturing the tables and the chairs are said to be part of the chairs whose body is made of the wood but these are the portions that comprises the inner seating part. These are made so well that it is said to one of the major products being purchased and sold in the markets of Baripada and also in the entire Mayurbhanja state. The chairs and tables are given the finest shapes which add a great look to these products. The other items made of these grasses are the Carpets, Car mats and Screens etc. In the present days several new and modern products are also being made by these Sabai-Grasses such as the dining mat, Flower vases, Fruit baskets and many more. In the recent times the NCJDI (The National Council for Jute Development in India) has provides immense assistance to these tribal society in the form of several services, beginning from the obtaining the raw materials to the marketing of the finished products.

Government’s Role in Encouraging Art Work of Baripada

The Government of India as well as the Government of Odisha has taken several measure to protect this generation old art form and for this the appointment of the Development Commissioner of Handicrafts is also being done by the Government of India which monitors the facilitation of these handicrafts products with the help of an agency named as Anwesha. The Bhubaneswar based agency operates as a facilitator which has conducted several development programs in the designs and the art of these tribes.

Presently there are more than 60 artisans which are involved in this work of art and are helped by the government organizations in order to facilitate their work smoothly. The demand of these art pieces have increased in the recent years and the prime reason behind this can be said the initiatives taken by both central and the state government. Several centers are opened in the city of Baripada to train the local people to keep this art form alive and the girls are especially being trained so that they can earn the maximum with a minimum amount of investment.

There are several NGO which are also engaged in the training the people of Baripada and the tribes of the nearby villages to keep the art form of Sabai-Grass products and many such more art forms alive. There is one of the NGO named DASI located at the city of Baripada near the Madhuban which has been credited for training the maximum people of Baripada and also the tribes and they also educate them regarding the changing trends in fashion. They are involved in this since many years nd have successfully trained and certified many such artisans which are now working successful yand serving their family.

Here are the names of few organizations and communities which train and educate people of Baripada, regarding the traditional art and handicrafts of the historical era:

DASI
At – Madhuban
Baripada, Mayurbhanj

Niranjan Mukhi
Raghunathpur,
Baripada, Mayurbhanj.

Superitendent Circle Jail
Baripada, Mayurbhanj.

1968
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