The tribes, practicing the Dokra art, come from the region of Bastar, in South India (today located in the state of Chattisgarh), they emigrated several centuries before and settled everywhere in India from North to South. Most have kept their tradition (culinary art, clothing, parties) and their animist religion.
This traditional and artisanal art has not changed for millennia (more than 4000 years) and the technique used is still that of the lost wax: a coarse clay model is made 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 then heated in an open hearth where a copper alloy will be poured.
The objects produced by the 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, ...
Standing in a totally slender attitude, this Bastar musician immediately calls out by his immense size: his legs, straight, all in finesse are disproportionate (more than half the size of the statue) gives him an airy dimension: he seems to dominate the whole of the participants in the ritual he is taking part in. His feet beat time but he appears out of time, deeply interiorized. His gaze is distant, as if he were alone in the world.
The head is upright and adorned with the typical tribal headdress made of feathers and topped with a bun which in this statue, all in verticality, is shown above the headdress.
The features are purified to the maximum with few details on the face: they emphasize the eyebrows and the almond-shaped eyes. The earrings, very large, all in roundness reinforces the impression of candor given by the look.
The clothes are limited to a simple loincloth, with some bangs and bells on the side. The chest is beautifully adorned with a beautiful necklace all in sobriety.
The base is decorated on the front with a small trumpet player who accompanies the main musician.
Here, because of the fineness of the statue, there is no clay-based molding: the statuette is worked directly on a wax base which is sculpted very finely by the artist.
In this statue we find one of the themes dear to the Dokra: music
which is also very present everywhere in India. The drum or Dholak is a very widespread instrument in India, there are many variations and the methods of manufacture vary according to the tribes and their geographical location : it can be made from the resources of the forest, is easy to transport...
It holds a great place in many sacred ceremonies
: animist rites, dances during wedding ceremonies... The music is played for hours at the same tempo, a bewitching melody that is often accompanied by dances in which women and men participate together.