Iron Craft of Rajasthan

Iron Craft of Rajasthan

The blacksmiths of Rajasthan are called lohars from the term loha meaning iron. The Hindu blacksmiths are divided into broad groups --- gadias and the malwias. The gadias move from village to village repairing farm tools and making items of everyday use. They consider Chittorgarh as their place of origin and are Vaishnav followers of Ramdev Pir. The malwia lohars claim Malwa in Madhya Pradesh as their place of origin. They are Shaivites by religion and worship Goddess Shakti and a few other local goddesses. Some of the items made of iron are ovens which are square or octagonal in shape with parrot or peacock-shaped legs and perforated walls. These are used to heat temples and homes in winter. Sigris or ovens with chains, and mobile ones with wheels also serve this purpose. These have burning coals in them and are carried to whichever part of the house they are needed in. The other item is the nut-cracker with an iron cutting edge. The shapes given to nut-crackers include birds, animals, and amorous couples. The iron craft practised in Jaisalmer and Tillonia is done by way of twisting iron wires and cutting the sheets. The main products are animal figures, decorative kitchen ware, and stands.

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