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Lokshilpa O Karukriti Mela @ Jorasanko Thakurbari

Piu Sur

It was a visual treat to see nearly 60 artists, crafts persons and weavers from 17 districts of West Bengal together with their wide array of traditional arts and crafts. On May 7th, in Kolkata, they participated in the Lokshilpa O Karukriti Mela organized by West Bengal State Akademi of Dance Drama Music and Visual Arts along with Rabindra Bharati University.

The Mela was inaugurated at the Dwarakanath Mancha at Jorasanko Thakurbari.

The concept behind the Mela was to support, help and revive wherever necessary, the development of traditional arts and crafts as inspired by Rabindranath Tagore’s swadeshi melas of the past.

As I walked by, I was mesmerized by the very attractive traditional art and craft items from the various districts within Bengal. The patachitras, mats, and decorative items made with wild grass and buffalo horn from West Midnapore; lac items from North Midnapore; clay dolls from South 24-Parganas; batik products from the Birbhum and Howrah. Also on display were intricately-carved dokra jewelery, shoal crafts and traditional batik products from Birbhum and popular clay models from Nadia. In addition there were eco-friendly bamboo crafts from Malda and jute crafts from Murshidabad. Also found here were sculpted wooden masks and pretty dhokra items from South Dinajpur; Polia clay models from North Dinajpurt; wooden handicrafts from Alipurduar; shitalpatis from Cooch Behar and unique wood carvings from Darjeeling.

My personal favorites were the beautifully embroidered kanthas and wood carvings from Burdwan, the exquisite Baluchari sarees, dokra crafts and dashabatar cards from Bankura and the colorful and imaginative Chhau masks from Purulia.

The Mela saw large crowds of shoppers and admirers and proceed from the sales were shared among all the crafts persons.

For those looking to buy traditional art and craft and helping local crafts-persons to continue with their art, supporting this annual Mela is highly recommended.