Tag Archives: dokra tribal art

Dhokra tribal art



Dhokra-Nepal Brass figurine statue of dancing Krishna

I acquired this charming Dhokra statue of dancing Krishna from an artist selling his wares on the roadside in Kathmandu

height 12 inches



Dhokra Art


Dhokra is an ancient folk art tradition prevalent in India in the eastern states of West Bengal, Odisha, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh. Dhokra craft objects are made through the process of non-ferrous metal casting using the lost-wax casting technique, which is one of the earliest and most advanced methods of metal casting known to human civilization. Its roots can be traced back 4500 years to the ancient city of Mohenjodaro in the Indus Valley Civilization.
The name Dokra or Dhokra was used to indicate a group of craftsmen of nomadic type from the Dhokra Damar tribe, scattered over the regions of Bengal, Orisa and Madhya Pradash, whose wares were identified by their beautifully shaped and decorated metal products. The enchanting Dhokra art objects have motifs inspired by indigenous folk culture and are characterized by a primitive, instinctive style. The main hallmark of the Dokra ornamental sculptures and goods is simplicity, charming folk motifs, a rustic beauty and imaginative, intricate designs and patterns.




Dokra goddess figure with sun wall plaque


The ancient Dhokra technique

Using inspiration from their mythology, environment and simple rituals, the Dhokra sculptor makes a core model of clay from fine riverbed soil mixed with coal dust and rice husks, as this mixture brilliantly takes on the textures and shapes of the later applications of wax, resulting in a perfect inner wall of the mold. After it has dried, it is decorated with strings of wax to create fine detailing and patterns. The Dhokra artisans use a mixture of bee’s wax, resins from the tree ‘Damara Orientallis’ and nut oil to make the dough soft and malleable.


Mixing clay for dhokra art sculptures Photo---Parul-Bajoria

Mixing fine river bed clay with coal dust and rice husk

Photo — Parul Bajoria




The black wax structure (right) is an exact replica of the final brass metal owl.


Next in the process is the application of small amounts of a fine clay paste over the wax replica which is then dried out in the shade. This is followed by applying a thicker outer layer of a red soil and rice husk mixture, which have holes on the top for adding the molten metals. The piece is sundried and then fired in the ‘Bhatti’ (traditional kiln), where the wax melts and exits the mould. The final stage is pouring molten brass through the same holes.



Fine wet mud is applied on top of the wax sculpture to create an outer mould.. This takes the impression of the wax model.



Dhokra creation by pouring molten brass into the wax loss moulds

Creating Dhokra forms by pouring molten brass/bronze into the wax loss moulds


This technique of casting revolves around replacement of wax loss crevices with molten metal by the traditional hollow casting method. After cooling, the cast is then removed to be given the finishing touches of cleaning and polishing.

Folk art objects such as men and women in their daily chores, elephants, musicians, dancers, horses, temple deities, peacocks, owls, religious images, measuring bowls, and lamp caskets are popular. Although no longer nomadic, there are still clusters of Dhokra artisans in Bengal, as can be found in a small village called Bikna, just outside of Bankura town.



breaking the outer Dhokra moulds - gaatha,com

Final Dhokra procedure of breaking the outer mould before finishing touches





Nandi Bull – Kushal Bhansali

Brass & bronze Dhokra sculpture – Kondagaon, Chhattisgarh , India

8 x 6 inches


Indian-Dhokra-wall-art from Brass, Nickel and Zinc

Indian Dhokra wall art




Ganesha riding an elephant




Antique Dhokra vessel with handle

Antique tri legged Dhokra pot

Priyanka Singh, Pinterest



Dhokra metal sculpture - man sitting on a peacock

Dhokra sculpture of a man seated on a peacock



Dhokra head busts from Basta

Dhokra head sculptures from Basta, Chattishgarh




Dhokra sculpture figurines

Bikna, India




Dhokra brass-lantern-Shreeya-Handicrafts

Dhokra brass lantern

Shreeya Handicrafts




Indian brass nutcracker horse

( bought in an antique store in Mumbai )



Tri legged lidded Dhokra vessel with peacock lid

Peacock lidded Dhokra vessel




Reclining female Dokra figurine

Tribal Art of Odisha



Dhokra-Art---Nandi the bull and a lion

Dhokra Art – Nandi bull and Lion




dhokra-jewelry twin fish Pices earrings

Dhokra Pisces earrings




Dhokra planter with succulants




Dhokra-head sculpture-–-Bastar-district

Dhokra head bust

Bastar district




Dokra elephant

Dhokra elephant



Dhokra-Tribal-Pen-Stand - bass-nickel -zinc

Tribal Pen Stand

Bastar Arts





Handcrafted Dhokra horse

Bastar Tribe, India



3 men riding a Dhokra horse

Dhokra Art – Three men riding a horse




Dhokra-Queen head bust

Dhokra Queen

Culture Art Group





Dhokra art sculptures Advaita

Dhokra tribal art




Lakshmi Saraswati and Ganesha-Dhokra statues

Saraswati, Ganesh and Lakshmi Dhokra statues





Pechak Pedi Owl Coffer  – Sithulia community of Orissa’s Dhenkanal district




Dhokra lantern and incense censer





Pedi---Oval Coffer---RoadsWellTraveled

Oval lidded vessel  – Pechak Pedi

Sithulia community of Orissa’s Dhenkanal district






Dhokra artisan pasting clay over wax model

Flickr—Pallab Seth





Three Men Rowing a Mayurpankhi Boat in Dhokra style




Tribal Lady - Sculpture Dhokra Art

Dhokra tribal mask




A seated brass Ganesha with mosaic stones



Dhokra Horse-with-Wings

Horse with Wings