ⓘ Dhokra


ⓘ Dhokra

Dhokra is non–ferrous metal casting using the lost-wax casting technique. This sort of metal casting has been used in India for over 4.000 years and is still used. One of the earliest known lost wax artefacts is the dancing girl of Mohenjo-daro. The product of dhokra artisans are in great demand in domestic and foreign markets because of primitive simplicity, enchanting folk motifs and forceful form. Dhokra horses, elephants, peacocks, owls, religious images, measuring bowls, and lamp caskets etc., are highly appreciated. The lost wax technique for casting of copper based alloys has also been found in China, Egypt, Malaysia, Nigeria, Central America, and other places.


1. The process

There are two main processes of lost wax casting: solid casting and hollow casting. While the former is predominant in the south of India the latter is more common in Central and Eastern India. Solid casting does not use a clay core but instead a solid piece of wax to create the mould; hollow casting is the more traditional method and uses the clay core.

The first task in the lost wax hollow casting process consists of developing a clay core which is roughly the shape of the final cast image. Next, the clay core is covered by a layer of wax composed of pure beeswax, resin from the tree Damara orientalis, and nut oil. The wax is then shaped and carved in all its finer details of design and decorations. It is then covered with layers of clay, which takes the negative form of the wax on the inside, thus becoming a mould for the metal that will be poured inside it. Drain ducts are left for the wax, which melts away when the clay is cooked. The wax is then replaced by the molten metal, often using brass scrap as basic raw material. The liquid metal poured in hardens between the core and the inner surface of the mould. The metal fills the mould and takes the same shape as the wax. The outer layer of clay is then chipped off and the metal icon is polished and finished as desired.


2. The name

Dhokra Damar tribes are the main traditional metalsmiths of West Bengal and Odisha. Their technique of lost wax casting is named after their tribe, hence Dhokra metal casting. The tribe extends from Jharkhand to West Bengal and Orissa; members are distant cousins of the Chhattisgarh Dhokras. A few hundred years ago, the Dhokras of Central and Eastern India traveled south as far as Kerala and north as far as Rajasthan and hence are now found all over India. Dhokra, or Dokra, craft from Dwariapur, West Bengal, is popular. Recently Adilabad Dokra from Telangana got Geographical Indicator tag in 2018.

  • population over 6 years There is a group of families involved in making dhokra craft at Dwariapur. They originally belonged to the former princely Bastar
  • For the village of same name associated with dhokra craft see Dwariapur, Bardhaman Dwariapur is a village in Jhalokati District in the Barisal Division
  • known to have used innovative bronze casting techniques, improving the Dhokra method employing Lost - wax casting, which she learnt during her training
  • the degree of excellence of products like, sola craft of Bankapasi and dhokra of Dwariapur is now acceptable to European markets. Bankapasi is on State
  • the Bankura - Purulia road. Two villages in the vicinity of Susunia have Dhokra craftsmen - Netkamla in the Saltora police station area and Bindhyajam in
  • in the preparation of items from the Dhokra Handicraft and Bastar Wooden Craft. The artifacts prepared from Dhokra technique of this art use the cow dung
  • traditional ancient handicraft styles are Bidriware, Pembarthi Metal Craft, Dhokra Kamrupi Bidriware The term Bidriware originates from the township of
  • Objects and Agricultural Implements Hall V - Dance, Musical Instruments and Dhokra Items Tribal wall painting Tribal paintings in trees Tribal wall paintings
  • Bastar people have excellent skills in variety of craft work including Dhokra bamboo craft, wrought iron craft, tribal dress, traditional textile, Kantha
  • credited to revive the oldest form of casting by lost wax process, i.e. Dhokra Art and started the production centers of Leather accessories, Cane furniture
  • materials, paper, plant fibers, etc. One of the world s oldest handicraft is Dhokra this is a sort of metal casting that has been used in India for over 4