Friday Feature: Faces of India

Who: Master Craftsmen or Paramparik Karigar
Where: Agra, India
What: Chiseling slivers of polished stones to make inlay work of floral patterns, in the style found on the Taj Mahal. These craftsmen work with very basic hand-driven tools and literally lose their fingertips in the process.

Faces of India

Making thin slivers of semi precious stones

At work with basic tools

7 comments:

Rumana Rawat said...

Happy Holi!!!!

Pelicano said...

That is amazing! It took me a bit to figure out how the belt-drive works- it goes forward and backward- almost like a violin bow?

Anita said...

What painstaking work. It is a good thing that they have spaces such as Dilli Haat in the bigger cities, to market their ware themselves instead of losing all to middlemen. And, as well that I do not bargain much there.

Manisha said...

Rumana, thank you! i wish you the same!

Pel, it does move back and forth, yes. They also use the flat side to thin and shape the stones. See this video and this longer video to understand the process. (Neither videos are mine.)

Anita, it's truly amazing. I only saw older adults but the videos I linked to show young kids producing this work. Hopefully this traditional art will not die soon. I believe that there is more mechanization in Europe. And, yay for Dilli Haat!

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Cybergabi said...

Amazing. What a dedication to the art. Although I wish they wouldn't lose their fingers...

Manisha said...

IndianTopBlogs, thanks!

Gabi, I think they look at it as a hazard that goes with the job. I wish their work was more apreciated though. There's no such thing as worker's comp.