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Clay and Terracotta of Uttar Pradesh

Clay, Terracotta, Pottery

Clay and Terracotta of Uttar Pradesh

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Among the clay products of Uttar Pradesh, the wares of the potters of Gorakhpur are well known. They make animal figures like horses and elephants with hand-appliquéd ornamentation. Figures of goddesses converted into lamps, mother and child motifs, and other ritual objects are all crafted here by hand.

The potters in Uttar Pradesh make both utilitarian as well as decorative ware from clay. The throwing is done by only men as women getting involved in this stage of the process is considered inauspicious whereas women carry out the remaining stages of this craft. The Hindu potters are called Prajapati and the Muslim potters are called Kasgars. Both have only one key factor that differentiates the wares crafted by them. Since Hindus do not use the ware twice, the decorative element is done away with while the opposite happens in the pottery produced by the Kasgars where the finishing and ornamentation is specifically taken care of. Products such as tea glasses/kulhars, joined bowl and pot/malwa, cup with spout/tutuhi, curd bowl/nadia, troughs/hauda, shallow bowl/piyalia, container/parva, karva chauth/larva, pipes/chilum, pitchers/surahi, shallow plate/rakabi, lamp/diya, wall plaques and bells. Tools such as wheel/chak, slicer/lesure and moulds are used in the crafting process.

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