Aditi Panda

With Diwali around the corner the rush to buy gifts, both for family and friends as well as corporate has increased and so is the hustle bustle in the markets and mauls. Every year apart from the regular dry fruit hampers and personalised gifts, the traditional Dokra crafts have become an ideal and trendy gift during the festive season.
Dokra is one of the most exquisite examples of the rich tradition of Indian craftsmanship, which is being recognized as the perfect and artistic gift during festivities. The Dokra art is mainly an assortment of imagery figures of Gods, Goddesses, birds and animals. It is well appreciated all over the world due to its rustic beauty and enticing folk motifs.
In Odisha, Sadeibereni in Dhenkanal is considered as an artisan village since the primary source of livelihood of all the 90 families are Dokra casting artisans. Earlier these artisans were working on a daily wage basis but today after ORUPA has developed a market the artisans are reaping high benefits and their art is exported globally.
Dokra system of metal crafting is said to be the oldest form of metal casting and is technically known as ‘cire perdure’ or the lost wax procedure. Though the Dokra artists are untutored in traditional institutions the Dokra craftsmen possess huge repertoire of creativity and artistic sagacity.
“Traditionally our company at all times favoured giving sweets to our clients but since last few years, with health consciousness the latest in-trend, we gift the trendy Dokra art pieces to our clients who appreciate them wholeheartedly. The lines are so clear and the final product is finesse personified”, says Amit Samantray, a young entrepreneur.
But this traditional art form is undergoing some sea change along with the changing times. In recent times there has been a growing demand of Dokra artefacts in the domestic as well as international markets with latest designs for which will have a worldwide appeal.
Manisha Goel, a beautician says, “Dokra handicrafts are beautiful and intricate and at the same time suit our limited budgets. We get a wide range of designs to cater to all age groups as well as trendy. It’s easy to send them as gifts with the assurance that they will not be distorted in the transit. I regularly send small god motifs to friends around the country and even abroad”.
Celebrations are incomplete without gifts as one festival follows the other, so it’s difficult to decide the ideal gifts. It’s not only the festivals , but also weddings, birthdays, housewarming and many more occasions when we have to gift.Dokra is a perfect solution as  there is a variety to choose from which suits our finances,” says Sudeshna Sahu, a homemaker staying in a big joint family .
The uniqueness of Dokra art is in the fact that no two pieces are similar. The castings also comprise of household decoration accessories like lamp holders, figurines and many more things which can be gifted. With so many ethnic gift options available around you lets pamper our dear ones with the exquisite artwork to beautify their homes this Diwali.
(Aditi is a freelance writer and pursues interest in the area of social issues)


  1. [16/10 5:39 PM] Festivals in India originated with the prime intention of evolving humans. It was always supposed to connote the victory of overcoming our base and therefore impure afflictions with something pure. Gold or for that matter any pure metal symbolises one’s inherent purity that is precisely the reason why it is utilised in all rituals and pujas. So instead of running over to purchase gold during festivals one should strive to turn one’s accumulated rust into gold. That is to cleanse the self and maintain it throughout the year. Instead, what most of us do is seek material benedictions, and use these auspicious period solely to further one’s financial standing. Interestingly, the only person laughing all the way to the bank is the gold seller, the jeweller in this case, who is already a rich man ???. Indian traditions, the ancient ones, have been twisted to suit market forces and capitalism, that’s why everything gets expensive during festivals when in fact it should be affordable even for the poorest of the poor. No wonder the rich get richer and the poor, poorer. So instead of increasing the gold reserves one should try and increase the purity within. That’s what this festival stands for. Wish all the readers a happy and prosperous festival of light. Bharat Chetty, pune
    [17/10 1:07 PM] Chikoo Pune Jio: India is a vast resource of indigenous art and craft. There are thousands of skilled artisans who, albeit unknown to the world, are committed to their profession. In a fast growing country such as ours, these original and ethnic artists are losing their identity to the products dished out by faceless and commercially driven corporates. The people of India should ardently support this real ‘made in India’ heroes who are still striving to keep alive our great nation’s heritage, which is not only unique but very close to nature. If Indians don’t appreciate the value of its own treasure how can we expect the rest of the world to do so? The Dokra art is one such glowing example of Indian culture. Rich and pristine. Simple but elegant. As a matter of fact encouraging these local artisans and their craft will not only usher a growth in the cottage industry but also bring us close to our roots, something we all desperately need. Thank you.

  2. I think that’s a wonderful idea! What better way to celebrate Diwali than by bringing prosperity to a hard workers household

    Mayuresh kadu on whats up,london

  3. Very nice thought. ?what a collection we have?Yes I agree with u that we must gift like this kind of ideal things instead of sweets and dry fruits .

    On whatsup Dr Sujara kanungo, nepal

  4. Dokra..a beautiful artwork of Odisha…by gifting dokra,you are not only promoting and encouraging the artisans,but also keeping the craftsmanship alive..

  5. Thanku sarika, bharat,mayuresh,sujata and mangal for your interesting point of view and comments straight from your heart.

    A very happy diwali


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