Clay & Terracotta of Himachal Pradesh

Clay & Terracotta of Himachal Pradesh


The potters of Himachal Pradesh originally belong to Jammu, Rajasthan, and Punjab and are concentrated mainly in the villages of Kangra, Mandi, Kulu, Chamba, and Shimla. Their place of origin distinguishes their style of working. These potters are locally known as kumhars, kumbhars, or prajapatis, and trace their descent from Lord Vishwakarma. Kangra district is well-known for its distinct red and black pottery. The pots are embellished by painting on them with the traditional white and black colours or by inscribing popular linear and circular patterns with a knife mainly before firing. The products commonly made include pots of different shapes and sizes. These are used for storage and ritual purposes. Diyas or lamps, toys, and figures of Hindu deities are shaped by hand or moulded and then painted in gay colours for the festive season. Kangra in Himachal Pradesh has clay ware in black or dark red colours. The products made are mainly for domestic use: gidya jugs for milk or ghee, patri bowl for curd or butter, and nareles or tobacco-smoking pots.

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