History of
Indian Crafts
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Indian Crafts >> Bone Products
Bone Products
Indian Crafts - Bone Products
History of Bone Products

Together with muslin and spices, ivory was one of the most prized commodities that was exported from India to Europe, West Asia and the Near East. A Vedic text includes ivory-work as one of the noblest crafts of the time. Early excavations show that ivory was intricately carved and used for figures of deities, votive objects, jewellers seals, fans, combs and also for doors, thrones and palanquins.Historically bone was considered impure and ivory pure for making the ornamental artifacts. However, the spurious imitations were always available in camel bone. However with the ban on ivory, the trading in buffalo bone and camel bone artifacts enhanced. Majority of the ivory craft persons reluctantly shifted to these materials.
Fine Art
Since the jewellery items made of bone and horn are the humble variety of bone and horn carving. The design on this carving are floral and figurative based on the inspirations from the Mughal architecture and foliage.Initially ornaments were made out of the natural bones, but for the past many years bone is treated with many attractive colours of natural stones like feroza, topaz, quartz etc.
Procedure
Raw bone of dead animals is cut into pieces of desired size and immersed in water for 12 hours. This process softens to bone. Later these pieces are scrapped and cleaned. Then they are shaped to a desired object on a lathe. Carving is done with the aid of a file drill. Carving entails systematic scrapping/scooping and chiseling of the materials from the core block.
Resources
Basic Material : Buffalo bone, camel bone.
Colouring Material : Soda, araldite, tea leaves, polish.
Equipments
Lathes, file drills.
Artifacts
Jewellery, ornate table lamps, chess-sets, cigarette holders, napkin rings, salt and pepper sets and laughing Buddha, table-lamps, chess sets, animal figures, decorative plaques, bridges of animals, paper cutters, the National Emblem, napkin rings, salt and pepper sets, tooth picks, hair pins, bangles, lockets, necklaces, figures depicting Indian dances are produced.

Indian Crafts : History of Bone Products