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 Culture of Karnataka - Handicrafts

Earlier History | Culture of Karnataka | Facts & Figures | Beaches in Karnataka | Cuisines | Festivals | Around Karnataka

In the state of Karnataka, the craftsmen use their deft fingers and skilled hands to make a variety of fascinating creations. One can find the handicrafts of Karnataka adorning the homes of the ordinary people, elite sections, and even the royal homes of yesteryears.

Many of Karnataka's arts and crafts have found their way to the western world too. This only bears testimony to the fact that the Karnataka craftsmen have skill, aesthetic sense and dexterity; which have not only been handed down over a number of generations, but also perfected through ages.

The royal kings at one time used to patronize these crafts and presently the government has made it its policy to encourage these skilled craftsmen by setting up centers and marketing their wares to the tourists who visit the state. This proactive move has given a necessary impetus to the Karnataka handicrafts. Some of the famous and popular crafts of Karnataka include wood carving, ivory carving, doll making, sandal wood carving, etc. The rich forests present in Karnataka have provided an opportunity to the people to develop their skills in wood carving, as they can get plenty of raw materials from the forests.

The artisans use age-old techniques to carve, inlay design, veneer, paint and lacquer the wooden articles. The skill of these artisans can be seen from the work they have done in the ancient temples. Some of the old homes, temple cars, and doorways have intricately carved designs of gods and goddesses. Most tourists to Karnataka love to buy crafts made from rosewood, especially that of a rosewood elephant, which can be quite expensive.

Another popular craft is the ivory carving which is derived from the tusks of the many elephants, which abounded in the forest regions of Karnataka. But in the recent times, with the banning of ivory trade, this craft has had a natural death.

Brocade weaving is another exquisite handicraft which has gained in popularity in the state. Artisans of this genre are found in areas around Bangalore, Hubli, etc. while the wood inlay work is practiced in the Mysore region, and is unique to this place.

Sandal wood carving is another important handicraft of Karnataka. Sandal wood is found in abundant quantity in Karnataka and craftsmen carve delicate articles, both big and small, from the sandal wood. You can find mostly handicrafts of elephants, gods and goddesses, etc. made from sandalwood, and these articles are a great favourite among the tourists. You can also find stone carvings of various gods and goddesses in all shapes and sizes, while on your tour of Karnataka.

In Bidar, they have a special craft called Bidariware. In this handicraft, fine silvery or gold designs are embossed on a black metal surface. The Lambhanis, who are the tribal people of Karnataka, are well known for their embroidery works which comes in colourful designs.
 

Costumes of Karnataka | Handicrafts of Karnataka | Dances of Karnataka | Languages of Karnataka
 

   
 

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