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Artisans face a challenge from a wooden artist

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  6 Oct 2016 12:00 AM GMT

By our Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, Oct 5: Artisans who make idols with clay and straw have faced a serious challenge from a wooden artist who seems to have come out of the woodwork in this festive season.

Skilled in woodwork, often by using off-cut pieces of wood, Bijoy Sutradhar, hailing from Burdwan in West Bengal, has been busy in making idols of Goddess Durga and others for the past 105 days at Adabari Tiniali on Pandu Port Road in the city. He is assisted by his wife Rameswari Sutradhar and ten other workers.

According to Sutradhar, this is their folk art and craft, craved in wood and decoratively painted. Theirs is a live workshop at the site. This ethnic style and design of wooden doll, according to Sutradhar, is supported by UNESCO, New Delhi.

According to Sutradhar, absolutely tural colour is used in making the idols. “This art is the first of its kind going to be used in any Durga Puja in Assam. Kadam tree, kapok tree (simalu), gramari tree etc., are used in this art form. I took the contract of making the Durga Puja idols of Gokul Niwas here at Rs 4 lakh,” he said, and added: “For us this art is a rich legacy that is being passed from generation to generation. My forefathers were apt in this folk art and at present as many 290 members of our extended family are engaged in this art form. This pandal will have as many as 2,370 pieces of wooden idols and dolls depicting Indian culture. To make that happen, I needed 370 cft of wood.”

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