Girls at a handicraft store. Telegraph picture
Ranchi, Sept. 2: Intricately carved wood and bamboo products showcasing the craftsmanship of artisans in this tribal heartland would be put up on the country’s design and history map by state experts soon.
Some 20 to 25 local artists, historians and archaeologists would be turning the spotlight on the state’s old tradition of woodcraft through research papers and presentations at the 17th session of the All-India Art History Annual Conference organised by the state art and culture department.
The conference would span over three days — December 20, 21 and 22 — under the aegis of the World Art of India in Ranchi.
Some 100 historians and archaeologists are expected to attend the conference from across the state, including renowned art historian Kapila Vastsayan, also a Rajya Sabha member. Retired director-general of the New Delhi national museum R.D. Choudhary will also be present at the conference that is being organised at the cost of Rs 4 lakh.
Harendra Sinha, the assistant director of state art and culture department, spoke to The Telegraph regarding the annual conference. “At the three-day meet historians and archaeologists would present papers on woodcraft of their respective state with a focus on Jharkhand. The results of the conference would be published in a form of a book,” Sinha said.
Besides, an annual magazine — Kala — will be also released. Last year the conference was held in Bhopal.
The meet would be phased over six sessions and on the last day, the experts would be taken to different tourists and archeological sites, said Sinha.
“As far as the venue of the programme is concerned we have decided to organise the conference at IICM, which has adequate space for the grand event,” said the assistant director.
“The purpose of the programme is make people aware of the state’s art tradition. It’s a rare opportunity for Jharkhand to organise this programme,” said the department secretary, R.S. Verma.
Department director P.C. Mishra said that the state’s tradition of woodwork, bamboo works, pitkar paintings, tribal ornaments and stone carvings could have been famous had there been better promotion.
“Lack of promotion and marketing has resulted in extinction of some crafts. This is the right opportunity to turn the focus on this part of the world,” Mishra said.
“Our state has an abundant supply of wood and bamboo, as a result the material was used extensively for creating variety of articles for household requirement. The designed articles are beautiful and has a strong market potential both in India and abroad,” Mishra believed.
Jharkhand’s bamboo that is thin but at the same time flexible and strong is used by mostly by tribal artisans to create the humble but useful baskets, hunting and fishing equipment.