From the very beginning of our Banglee culture, pottery has represented our identity and lifestyle. The artisans’ works include making clay-pots, earthen ware, toys of clay and different idols of gods and goddesses have been the tradition of our culture. But it is now regrettable that in recent times, especially in the last decade potters have been in distress. Because of these unavoidable factors like clay, lack of capital, unsatisfactory selling of clay pots, lack of fuel wood for burning raw pots, their plight is in peril. Earthenware and fashionable things of clay are being rapidly supplanted by aluminum, plastic, steel and other alternative materials. Even toys for children are being made with wood and cloth. Besides, so cold prestigious people never tend to buy earthenware thinking their image and status. But it is admitted everywhere that cooking pot of clay is more conducive to health than pot of silver or other materials.
Cooking rice of clay-pots help to cure gastric problem. And pitchers keep water cool in hot days. Another cause for not selling clayware is its brittleness. Inspite of being more cheaper than other aluminum or plastic made pots, clay-pots are not being sold available. Thus potters have to survive with a negligible earning. 3. Pat and Patua important audio-visual mediums in educating the masses since immortal. There is a very deep cultural link the Indo-Gangetic civilisation, such as that of terra-cotta, cloth and natural fibre like jute, “shola” and beetle nut bark fibre, which are on the verge of extinction.
These items go back to as much as 12 centuries. The Moenjodaro link which is visible in our terracotta dolls and toys go back to 3,000 years. Not only has that history been forgotten but the realisation that they are diminishing is that within two decades they’ll be there no more. “One craft in particular which has suffered as recently as in 15 years is the type of painted scroll called ‘Ghazir pott’. Ghazi is a ‘pir’ recognised both by the Hindus and Muslims, by the woodcutters, honey gatherers, fishermen and boatmen in the Sundarbans. They invoke the Ghazi pir, the tiger personality who protects the people who enter the jungle.” The ‘Ghazir pott’ is a series of folk stories told by the village men of the bravery of this man who protected them from tigers. Ghazi, she said, is sacred to the Hindus too as they have a similar personality whom they called ‘Shatta pir’ but he rides a leopard while Ghazi rides a tiger and both carry symbols in their hands.”
One important reason for the diminishing of crafts is that the metropolis dwellers are not paying according to the demand of the producers. When the villagers are putting the products into the market the price is cut to half and bargaining goes on. The elite are least bothered while the middle class like the items and wish to use them at home but unless one is a connoisseur of art the people of the upper echelons of society have forgotten village crafts altogether “People are ready to pay a high price for painting but they are not ready to pay for a craft that has taken six months whereas the painting may have been done in three days. When a woman has worked on her handicraft on an authentic design for half a year she has the right to ask for more”.
“Karika” products are art crafts and not just handicrafts, she stressed. For this reason the theme of the exhibit had been “Know Bengali cultural roots.” Kumar or potter family are found all over Bangladesh. The elaborate terra cotta tile works display enormous sweep and dedicated Kumars. In some communities of kumars make clay pots, vessel for cooking, storing water etc. Other sub-castes fashion figures in the shape of animals, birds, humans and children toys. The “Sakher Hari”, an earthen pot, painted with images of fish, combs, birds and floral creepers to denote fertility is used to carry sweets for a marriage ceremony. 10.The Lost Art of Metal Casting
The lost-wax technique is an ancient art that dates back over 2,000 years or older in India, China, and Egypt. In the 15th century it was used by the likes of Donatello for the making large-scale bronze nudes. Bowls and plates made with intricate etchings are made using other methods. Material
Most of the figures are made from bronze (a copper and tin alloy) or brass (a copper and zinc alloy). Hindu figures are made out of eight metals believed to have an auspicious connection to the planets. The eight metals are: copper, zinc, tin, iron, lead, mercury, gold and silver. Once a dying art, metal-casting is being revived by Sukanta Banik, whose business in Dhamrai has been in the family for five generations. Until recently, Banik’s forefathers had been making household items with brass and bronze — kasha and pittal. But in 1971, Sukanta’s uncle Shakhi Gopal Banik and his partner, Mosharraf Hossein, changed direction and started producing works of art: figures from Hindu mythology and folk art as well as Buddhist and Jain sculptures. Designs of the gods and goddesses
Designs of the gods and goddesses are based on the art of the Pala dynasty. They tend to be very intricate, and stand distinguished from statues made elsewhere, The lost-wax technique allows helps Banik’s artisans create more pronounced detailing. In contrast to most Indian statues, whose details are etched onto the solid metal form, the details of one of Banik’s statues are made on the soft wax at the initial stages of the sculpting, using soft wax thread, which is then carved into with a bamboo stick. Thus, the embellishments take on a three-dimensional quality.
Murtis from India also differ in that they are usually made from a Master mold. We must attempt to preserve this age-old tradition, not just in Dhamrai, but in other centers like Jamalpur, Islampur, Tangail, Kushtia, and Dhaka.” In the words of friend and supporter, Matt Friedman, “If [the metal casting] trade is someday lost, an important part of Bangladesh’s artistic tradition will vanish forever.” Hats off to Mr. Banik for bringing this decidedly Bangalee tradition back to life (Manisha Gangopadhyay, November 8, 2004). 11. Satranji : Weaving for a cause -Rugs steeped in history Even if it’s not Aladdin’s magic carpet, the lure of the 1,000 year old traditional jute rug –Satranji continues to have buyers in its thrall. The elegance and splendour of the rug is believed to have captivated even the great Mughal Emperor Akbar.
The charm of Satranji was evident both in palaces and huts. Recently, the lyrical beauty of the Satranji was on display at the lounge of the Pan Pacific Sonargaon Hotel. Hanging on walls, placed on a traditional Palanko( the highly decorative antique bed of kings, nawabs and zamindars), the soft lighting created a dreamy atmosphere with splashes of bright colours at the exhibition premises. With the title ‘Colour Your Home with Village Art’, a three-day exhibition started on October 3, 2004.
The organiser was famous designer Bibi Russell in collaboration with Pan Pacific Sonargaon Hotel. The exhibition is a fund raiser.’ Twenty percent of the proceeds will be donated to Lifebuoy Friendship Hospital. The rest of the funds will go to the North Bengal weaver community who made these magnificent rugs,’ said Bibi. ‘We are focusing on the women weavers of Rangpur. They have suffered a series of natural adversities- the harmful flood, devastating rains and drought. Consequently, these people are uncertain about how to celebrate Eid.
In the exhibition, around 80 Satranjis made of 100 percent jute, are on display with various colours and designs in folk tradition. From Pilpa, which was known as Hatipaya to Jafri, Itkhati, Latai the traditional mingled with modern designs depicting the motifs of elephant footprints, motifs from Jamdani and the intrinsic geometrical patterns. About the designs Bibi says, ‘ The traditional motifs are absolutely superb (Afsar Ahmed, Daily Star, November 5, 2004). 12.Bamboo-based cottage industry faces extinction
Bamboo-based cottage industry in Shariatpur, Madaripur, Gopalganj, Rajbari and Faridpur is on the verge of extinction due to lack of raw materials and shrinking of market for the products. Market sources said the short fall in raw materials is triggered by indiscriminate extraction of bamboo trees for building houses and various goods, uprooting the bamboo for setting up settlements and lack of any initiatives to preserve or grow bamboo clusters. Besides, the local markets are being flooded with metal or plastic goods leaving no rooms for the bamboo made ones. Consumers are increasingly buying metal or plastic goods instead of bamboo-made products because of their cost effectiveness and durability. As a result, thousands of bamboo craftsmen have already left their inherited profession in search of alternative jobs. A large number of them have become jobless finding no other alternatives, the sources said. The Dying Art Of Clinical Medicine
Allopathic Medicine is an art and science. It is unique isn’t it? How it is an art? Because when a patient and doctor interact there is a (Hi) story of the patient’s symptoms, feelings. A patient hearing on the part of the doctor. By the history (Symptoms) the doctor assumes or infers the possibilities of the diagnosis. Then he examines the patient which include pulse and Blood pressure recording, Heart and lung check with his stethoscope and then the physical examination of the patient. Then he comes to a possible diagnosis eg: A simple cold, a bacterial infection, An appendicitis, meningitis, diarrhea etc, etc.
This is called clinical diagnosis. This above part is the art of medicine. The scientific part is …ordering some tests like blood tests, X-ray, (ultra sonogram, MRI in modern times)etc to confirm the clinical diagnosis. This type of Clinical (Art) & scientific diagnosis was prevalent about 25-30 years before. Now a days it has become 1.(Doctor’s) protective medicine because for any untoward reaction like allergy to a drug or a coincidental occurrence like say “the patient is already dying and the doctor is forced to save him by hook or crook by the relatives,( specially in Tamilnadu people think a good practice is giving..1.an injection,
2. Few costly tablets and a 3.syrup called as tonic.. Even a cough syrup is considered a tonic etc and now a days a drip is a must.Such doctors(quacks) mint money due to the gullibility of the public.But the genuine and sincere doctor doctor is vulnerable (if any untoward like a natural death happens) to mob attack and abuse, law suits and brandishing as bad doctor. So present day medical practice is protective. Thus the art of medicine is dying and the clinicians are becoming stooges of lab tests, Scans, pharmaceuticals and Insurance /business motivators and last but not the least. .the patients and their relatives.
Courtney from Study Moose
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