Lac Combs and Hair Ornaments of Odisha

Domestic Arts/Crafts, Lac, Lacquer, Sesat, Tribal Crafts, Wood

Lac Combs and Hair Ornaments of Odisha

Twelve to fifteen tribes out of 62 in the state of Orissa make combs distinctive of their tribe. These combs are common commodities in the barter system. Juang Comb, Santal Comb, Dangaria Kandh Comb, Kutia Kandh Comb, Durua Comb, Lanjia Saora Comb, Koya Comb, and Desia Kandh Comb are some of the tribal combs found in the area.

The jungle-lac art of Nowrangapur in Koraput is Orissa’s most well-known centre for Lac combs. These combs, known locally as Lac Siredi, are primarily of two shapes. The quadrangular one is primarily used by men, while the circular one is primarily used by women. Both men and women participate in the comb-making craft.

Socioeconomic factors, religious-cultural values and traditions, and tribal tastes vary by population. The tribal combs come in a range of patterns, styles, colours, forms, weights, and materials. The comb and the tribes are inextricably linked. Combs are used for various purposes in each tribe and hold various symbolic and religious significance. The Juang comb is gifted as an expression of love. It is also used to take out thorns stuck in the body and hence is also seen as a symbol of courage. Combs such as Dangaria Kandha Comb, Todi Sireni and the Jepur Katanga Sireni are also associated with love and courtship and are commonly gifted and adorned during marriages. The Santal comb on the other hand, is seen as a status symbol for good socio-economic status. Apart from this, most combs are seen as appropriate gifts for guests and are used to accessorize their hair.









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