Dhokra Brassworks: A Brief History

4,500 years ago, a metal sculptor in Mohenjadaro created a masterpiece. The discovery of that masterpiece proved that a flourishing civilization once existed in the basin of the Indus Valley River. If that craftsman were to visit the eastern coast of India, he’d find himself right at home, knowing that there is someone who keeps his art form alive.


Inspired by ancient craftsmen, the Dhokra metal-casting process uses the same lost wax techniques that metal sculptors in the Indus Valley Civilization used to create exquisite, bronze sculptures and figurines. A technique, also used in ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, Greece and China, this fabled and extremely demanding art form has today come to be synonymous with the nomadic Dhokra tribe who are settled all over the modern regions of Chhattisgarh, Odisha and parts of Andhra Pradesh.


Collectors and art connoisseurs from all across the globe covet Dhokra products, not only because of the intrinsic starkness and vitality of the art form, but also because of the layers of tradition and historical influences that are still visible in the products created by these skilled craftsmen.


The Dhokra craft is one, which has been passed down from generation to generation. Sculptors and master artisans have painstakingly taught subsequent generations the trade secrets and mysteries of the craft through imitation, as well as instruction to ensure that the craft form still remains alive. Unlike other traditional artists, the Dhokra people also believe in gender equality; both men and women are taught the art and work together to create exquisite and high quality works of art.


In addition to the high level of skill on display in these products, the Dhokra art form is also characterized by the innovation and evolution of the craftsman, showcasing the newer influences and highlighting the perfect union between a traditional art form and modern muses and inspirations. While Dhokra artisans continually create ornate and intricate carvings of Gods and other revered figures from mythology, they have now also moved on to creating smaller, lighter works of art which still carry all the trademarks of the lost wax casing technique while making it affordable to an entirely new generation of art lovers and buyers across the world.


On artisanscrest.com, you get a chance to explore our collection of intricate and exquisite Dhokra Brasswork products, straight from the homes and furnaces of the master craftsmen and practitioners of the art; you get a chance to own the physical embodiment of the vision of the uniquely creative artisan and also the fruit of not just one person’s hard work, but of all the generations that came before them and sacrificed to keep the craft alive. You get a chance to own a little piece of history and contribute towards keeping another ancient craft still alive, one piece at a time.


The Artisanscrest network includes a vast community of expert artisans, master craftsmen and visionaries who work in close collaboration with our art curators and connoisseurs to create exquisite works of art for the sole purpose of adorning the homes of our customers from across the globe. Each piece of Dhokra Brassworks is created exclusively by the artisans of the Dhokra tribe based on your choice and specific needs so that you can own a piece of tradition made especially for you.



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