The Telegraph
Wednesday , February 1 , 2012
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Tribal craft treasure store

Patna, Jan. 31: Tribal masks, straw paintings, brass products made by Dhokra artisans, Ghicha tussar silk saris and shawls — handicraft lovers have plenty to choose from at the Jharcraft outlet in the state capital.

The outlet of Jharcraft, a Jharkhand government enterprise that provides marketing opportunities to tribal artisans of that state, was inaugurated in the Kankerbagh area on January 25. Jharcraft stores are there in Calcutta, Mumbai, New Delhi, Bangalore and Daltonganj also.

The outlet here has in store a huge array of products — jute bags, home dιcor items made of bamboo, paper mache photo frames, lac products, terracotta jewellery and masks, wall clocks, jewellery boxes, bamboo mats and trays. The store also has a designer bamboo lampshade.

“I am planning to bring more such lampshades soon. Bamboo lampshades are a speciality of Jharkhand. A piece of bamboo lampshade costs between Rs 200 and Rs 400,” said Vijay Kumar, the owner of the outlet.

Prices of other products in the store are quite pocket friendly. While a piece of terracotta jewellery comes for Rs 170, tribal masks of the same material are priced between Rs 35 and Rs 350. A piece of dining mat costs about Rs 50-Rs 60.

Brass products of Dhokra design are also much in demand. Artisans of the Dhokra community of Jharkhand are traditionally engaged in giving artistic shapes to brass. “We have an exclusive collection of Dhokra products, including a panchmukhi elephant (a brass artefact with five faces of a jumbo). Besides, there is a Dhokra statue of a man reading a book,” Kumar said.

“We also have Dhokra statues of Birsa Munda, Lord Buddha, Ganesh and Durga. Such products come in the range of Rs 175-Rs 770,” he said.

Ghicha tussar silk sari is another top attraction for people visiting the handicraft store. “The tribals of Jharkhand weave these saris with indigenous silk. The material is of high quality and its designs are attractive,” he said.

Kumar added that he had an exciting collection of silk stoles, linen coats and leather bags for girls.

Pooja Kumari, a BA Part I student of Magadh Mahila College, could not hide her excitement after a visit to the outlet. “I liked the terracotta jewellery and bought three ornaments. I also bought a tribal mask, which I will use to decorate our home.”

Her mother, Shailja Agrawal, said: “I am very happy that our city has finally got such an outlet. I liked all the handicraft products that are on display at Jharcraft. Needless to say, the store is a paradise for people like me.”

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