Assam has a rich tradition of terracotta which has been handed down from generation to generation. There are two traditional potter communities, the hira and the kumar. The kumar potters use the wheel and make images of gods and goddesses, clays dolls and toys, and pots, while the hiras do not use the wheel at all and manufacture household articles using the compression method. Among the hiras, only the womenfolk are engaged in pottery; the men help in procuring raw materials and selling the wares.
The most commonly used pottery products include earthen pots and pitchers, plates, incense-stick holders, and earthen lamps. In Kamrup terracotta objects including clay tiles are made. Asharkandi, a village in Goalpara district, is famous for its graceful clay dolls. Today, the traditional products are still being made but new shapes and products are also being tried out.
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