Terracotta - One of the Oldest Craft And Mithila's Figurative Art

The name "terracotta" is derived from the Latin for baked clay. In this kind of art, various terracotta clay pots, sculptures, and implements are dried, heated, and colored. Its hue is a result of the manufacturing process. As we push smoke through the furnace vent while the clay is heating, we see an orange hue. Contrarily, closed vents are utilized to produce grey or black color.

Terracotta is one of the oldest craft that human beings ever introduced on earth. Ram-rasa and ocher clay are utilized in one of the traditional crafts of Bihar, which is terracotta. This beautiful type of art is very well-liked by artisans.

It was once considered to be a poor man’s craft but in due course of time, it has made its ascent due to its aesthetic value and occupied a distinct identity among all classes of people. Artisans use potters’ wheels to make different shapes by using their own hands. The raw materials used in this craft are Ram-Ras Mitti and Gerua Mitti. After the completion, it is then burned on coal. This is a unique product handcrafted by artisans. This craft provides livelihood support to families of about 300-500 artisans on a regular basis in Darbhanga and Madhubani districts of Bihar.

Ram-rasa and ocher clay are used in one of the traditional crafts known as terracotta. This type of art is well-liked by the public because of its grace and beauty. Craftsmen employ this skill to create a variety of ceramics, particularly heavenly and organic items. This artwork was produced entirely by hand.

Terracotta in Darbhanga -
Pottery, sculptures, and architectural accents have all been made out of terracotta, a form of clay-based ceramic, for thousands of years. The usage of terracotta dates back to ancient times in the city of Darbhanga, which is found in the Indian state of Bihar. The representation of a female figure discovered in the neighbouring village of Manikpur is the oldest recorded instance of terracotta in Darbhanga. The Patna Museum today holds this sculpture, which originates from the Mauryan era (3rd century BCE).

History of Terracotta, Darbhanga -
Darbhanga was a major terracotta art hub during the Gupta era (4th to 6th century CE). Terracotta statues and ornamental items from this time period have been discovered all throughout the city. Images of Hindu deities like Shiva, Vishnu, and Durga are among them, in addition to representations of daily life and events from the Mahabharata and Ramayana.

In the medieval period, Darbhanga was ruled by the Khandavala dynasty, who were patrons of the arts. Many terracotta sculptures and decorations from this period have also been found in the area, including images of the Buddha and other Buddhist figures.

Terracotta Arts in Darbhanga -
Today, the tradition of terracotta art continues in Darbhanga and the surrounding areas, with many skilled artisans still practicing this ancient craft. Terracotta products made in Darbhanga include figurines, pots, and other decorative items, which are sold both locally and internationally.

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