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State readies R-Day tableau

Ranchi, Dec. 14: Dokra will be Jharkhand’s toast to the country at New Delhi’s Rajpath next month during the Republic Day parade.

The state government today set the ball rolling for putting in place a tableau, after a gap of four years, that will showcase dokra — a traditional art of nomadic craftsmen of the eastern region — on January 26.

The government has asked officials of the public relations department to hunt for tribal artistes.

A team of government officials left for Khunti district to explore the metal casting art form and to interact with artistes.

Speaking to The Telegraph, director of the public relations department Alok Gupta said the state wanted to put up a good show during the Republic Day parade.

“We have started work on the tableau. Though it is a small step, we want to put in our best step to ensure that our work is appreciated by all during the parade,” Gupta said.

He added they were targeting and exploring places like Khunti that were famous for dokra artwork.

“We will soon send a team of officials to other districts, who will interact with skilled artistes and bring them on board for designing the tableau,” Gupta said.

He added that a group of 10-15 artistes from Khunti, Dumka and Chaibasa were likely to be a part of the team that designs the tableau.

“Besides the tableau, our focus during the parade will be on folk dances that would show our rich tribal culture,” the director said.

The artistes, once selected, are likely to head for Ranchi next week after which the state will decide on its next course of action regarding the design.

Jharkhand had last participated in the Republic Day parade in 2008 with an exhibition on Tana Bhagats — traditional followers of Mahatma Gandhi.

Dokra is a non-ferrous metal casting art that uses the lost-wax casting technique. Though the art is found across the country, it is particularly famous in Dumka, Chaibasa, Hazaribagh and Seraikela-Kharsawan where the Malhar and Birhor tribe members practise it.

The metal craft or brass work has seen its fair share of promotions, thanks to the Jharcraft emporiums that have made dokra famous across the country and abroad.