Metalware of Manipur

Metalware of Manipur

In Manipur metal-casting is still a cottage industry and localised in the areas close to Imphal. Bell-metal, locally known as senjeng, is an important metal not only for manufacture of household utensils but for objects of art as well. Metal products of Manipur have their own distinct shapes and derive much of their aesthetic vitality from the ancient lost wax hollow casting technique by which they are made. Beside bell-metal the other metals used are brass, copper, and bronze. The wax image into which the molten metal is placed is kept in a clay mould. Krishna Kanti, a special item, is a large bowl with a broad encircling rim at the neck on a small pedestal. Ceremonial items like the sengabetel nut container and a large-sized bell with the image of Garuda at the top are also popular. Plain metal bowls as well as those with surface decoration are in constant demand.

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