Thursday, December 28, 2006

Crafts in Bazaars

Indian tradition has made no distinction between craft as art or as industry. Our crafts served both functional and aesthetic purposes. Pottery is as ancient as human civilisation and is perhaps, the first craft which came to be also a thing of beauty and artistic expression. Today, the earthen pot has little utilitarian value in the cities. The plastic containers, shaped often like the earthen pot, have come into use. There is the stainless steel filter that holds water, which runs from a tap and is not carried anymore to the house from a well. In the Bazaar, what are the products that can continue to be our ‘crafts’? Are these as refined as the work of our earlier craftsmen? Do bazaars generate their own genre of crafts?

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