The Bastars people
Bastar is a district of South India in the state of Chattisgarh, it was an independent kingdom from the 14 th
century until its integration into India in 1948.
The tribal population represents 70% of the population of the Bastar district: the main tribes are the Gonds - the Abhuj Maria and the Bhatras. Most have kept their tradition (culinary art, clothing, festivals) and their animist religion.
The tribes still live mainly from agriculture and resources drawn from the forest (hunting, medicinal plants, wood ...).
Some tribes have dedicated themselves to brass statues art
for over 4000 years. This art, which is also found in the states of Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, West Bengal, Bihar ... is called Dokra.
Dokra art: a thousand-year-old knowledge in the manufacture of statues
This tribal Indian art has not changed for millennia (more than 4000 years) and the technique used is always that of lost wax: a coarse clay model is made and then covered with wax by the artist who will give it its final form with its details. The whole is again covered with a clay mixture and then heated in an open hearth where a copper alloy will be poured. see Blog.
The objects produced by Dokra artists can be of a usual nature: cup, candle holder ... musical instruments (brass), or artistic such as jewelry, animals: horses, elephants, turtles ..., statues of men and women representing scenes of daily life and Hindu deities adopted by the tribes: Ganesh, Lakshmi ...
: It takes the preponderant place in this statue: disproportionate, the rider appears very small, the head not exceeding the ears of the horse which have an impressive size. The horse's attributes
are there to show us its importance: ceremonial dress with numerous decorations on the legs, neck and body, very beautiful harness with a bit and a halter adorned with jewels
and bells, braided mane ending at the top with a tassel pointing to the sky. The tail is raised, pridly straightened in a proud attitude: the horse and the rider strut around and show their beauty and their strength.
The rider is standing upright in the middle of his horse's back. One hand holds the bridle and the other his sword, which rests on his shoulder in a demonstrative attitude. He is dressed in a simple loincloth, a scarf and a beautiful ceremonial collar.