Copper Metalwork/Dhatu Kaam of Goa

Copper Metalwork/Dhatu Kaam of Goa


The Kansara community craft the copper utensils used across Goa till today. An oral tradition the community has been practicing this craft for generations in Mapusa and Sanquelim in North Goa.Copper sheets are brought from Hubli in Karnataka and a wide variety of copper cooking and storage vessels used in Goan households are crafted from the sheets using basic tools like the Katar or scissors, hathodi-hammers, Kanas-files and Chimti-tongs. The products include - vessels for steaming rice dumplings, storage, all sizes and shapes of vessels including those for heating water, idli steamers, serving plates, glasses, pots, vessels for deep frying, and also boxes for storing jewelry. The utensils can be seen in weekly markets across Goa The brass sheets are first cut into the required size for the base and sides. A mixture of zinc and brass ( khadas) are applied to the edges and then welded to each other with tongs over a fire in a forging machine to give it the basic shape.. After the welding, the object is kept in water for five minutes to cool, it is then taken out and polished by rubbing a mixture of acid, sand and tamarind on the surface with a clean cloth. T he process followed to shape the copper sheets are two, the first is to roll, press and beat the sheets into shapes required and the second is the spinning method for plates and glasses. Once the product is semi-ready it is hammered to give it a shape. The uniform beaten marks on the surface are characteristic of Goan utensils, strengthenen the product and reflecting light.

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