The name Dokra or Dhokra was used to indicate a group of craftsmen of nomadic type, scattered over Bengal, Orisa and Madhya Pradash and ware identified by their beautifully shaped and decorated metal products. The craftsmen have latter on settled down in some areas of Bardwan, Bankura and Midapur districts of West Bengal leaving their nomadic character. Most of such craftsmen had left the craft leaving only a few families in the trade.
Dokra system of metal casting is said to be oldest form of metal casting and is technically known as ‘cire perdue’ or lost wax process. A replica of the desired product is made with wax on a clay core with all its finer details of designs and decorations. A few coats of finely prepared clay paste is applied over the model and dried in the shade. The technique of casting revolves round replacement of wax with molten metal by the traditional hollow casting method. Brass scrap in generally used as raw material.
In recent years, the product of Dokra artisans are in great demand in domestic and foreign market because of it primitive simplicity enchanting folk motifs and forceful form. Products like dokra horses, elephants, peacock owl, religious images, and measuring bowls, lamp caskets etc., are highly appreciated.
[57 families are still engaged in the crafts scattered in the districts like Bankura, Birbhum, Burdwan and Midnapur.]


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