Wood Carving of Kachchh , Gujarat

Wood Carving of Kachchh , Gujarat

Gujarat is one of the richest regions for wood-carving. The balconies of palaces in Palanpur and Bhuj were elaborately carved, and designed to cantilever out of the walls. Doors of traditional houses or havelis were heavily-carved masterpieces, and even simple homes had the images of the goddess Lakshmi or the elephant deity Ganesh carved in the central portion of the archway. The parrot motif is a great favourite among wood-carvers in Gujarat who use this symbol to ornament lid handles, door brackets, and edges and corners of chests, as well as to highlight architectural features. Bhavnagar in Saurashtra is known for its large-sized chests called pataras, a part of the bridal trousseau, fashioned to hold bed rolls, jewellery, documents, oil, and grain. Sankheda in Gujarat is noted for its furniture: low seats, tables, stools, and swings, all with gay colours and designs in the tin foil style. Junagadh and Doraji in Rajkot district are known for cradles with stands, and cupboards with cubicles, which are typical of Gujarat. The other common article is the traditional jhula or swing, an heirloom without which no Gujarati house is complete. The wood-carver community of Gujarat, known as the mewara mistris, work in rural and urban areas. Wood inlay involves placing of pieces of ivory, plastic, horn, bone, metal, and fine wires into carved surfaces. This craft is found dominantly in Surat amongst the petigara community of wood and inlay workers of Persian origin. The wood on which inlay work is done include teak rose wood, or sandalwood.

Combining the skills and techniques of both shallow and deep relief work with patterns that include three dimensional peacocks, parrots and female musicians and dancers, with geometric and floral designs. Both decorate architectural focal points, bird houses, and furniture. The carved wood tradition is hereditary and passed on from father to son.

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