Paralakhemundi, Gajapati district of Orissa has been famous for the crafts made from horn. The craft man ship and its prevalence increased here during reign of Sri Krushna Chandra Gajapati Narayan Deb, the Maharaja of Paralakhemundi. The maharaja gave his support to the crafting of horn and supported the artisans with the financial and resources help.the horn craft derived its name from the place Paralakhemundi itself.
In Orissa the carvings of animals and Mithuna figures made of bone is very common.combs carved from bone and horn are a specialties of this place. The most important centers include Sarai Tarin in Uttar Pradesh, Honavar in Karnataka and Trivandrum in Kerala. The designs and crafting styles in bone crafting are very much an impression of Mughal architecture and foliage.
Raw bones of dead animals are cut in to desired shapes are are immersed in water for around 12 hours. This process softens the bone and then it is molded into desired shapes after scraping the outer skin of the bone. Cow horns, Buffalo horns, stag antlers and tusks are used in horn craft. The desired object is carved from the solid part of a horn after soaking it in water. If shaping is necessary, then the carved piece is heated to a specific temperature and shaped.After that, its surface is smoothed down with the help of a rough file.
Pen stands, table lamps, paper weights, lamp shades, snuff boxes, walking sticks, are some of the most common products made from horn crafting. Statues of lord Jagannath, statue of men and women are also made by crafting the horn. These days the inspiration for the crafting of horn is also derived from modern topics if influence.
Jewelery,ornamental 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 from crafting of bones and horns.
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