Galar Putul / Shellac Dolls- Elephant and Horse Set
'Galar Putul' more commonly known as Shellac dolls is a unique craft of West Bengal's Purba Medinipur District. They are brightly coloured, wonderfully textured miniature dolls mostly of deities, animals, and humans. They are entirely handmade and are eco-friendly too. 62-year-old Brindaban Chanda is the only artisan in Bengal today who has continued to make these unique dolls and has kept the tradition alive.
Provided here is a set of an Elephant and a Horse.
These dolls are made from the clay obtained from breaking the termites' nest, which is then soaked in water for 3 days for it to ferment. After fermentation, the leftover twigs, pebbles, and gravel are removed from the clay before crafting each doll by hand. Once crafted, these dolls are first dried in the shade before being kept to dry in the sun before being fired in ovens made of cow dung cakes. Only after this stage are the dolls ready to be painted.
The next process is a rather unique one which gives makes this school of dolls stand out. 'Lac' is used in different colours and the dolls are held with tongs over a coal fire while the colours are applied. The thread from the lac is then used to create various designs on the dolls, including creating the eyes and mouth. Finally, after cooling them for 10-15 minutes, the Shellac dolls or 'Galar Putul" are ready.
A craft in decline in Bengal, it goes without saying that this traditional art form of Bengal deserves all the help it can get. Not merely because the products are so unique beautifully handcrafted, but also because this craft keeps a dying way of life alive, and reinforces our ties with our soil.
Please Note: The products are all handcrafted and hence there may be slight variations in colour and shape of the actual product against that as shown on the website.
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