It is that time of the year when pandals are set up, idols of goddess durga are decorated, puja preparations are in full swing and we are all practicing dandiya and garba day and night. Normally this would have been the scenario but this year India shall see a rather dull dushera owing to Covid-19.
It is however for the greater good that we abide by the rules of social distancing and have a safe festival. That does not necessarily mean that we entirely miss out on the fun. Here are some ideas we have for you to celebrate Navaratri amid a global pandemic.
Set up your own pandal
Chances of society pandals being set up seem highly unlikely and even if they were to be erected, it is safer to not visit them.
How about bringing in an idol of the devi and designing a pandal for her at home? Some drapes, flowers, embellishments, and lots of creativity is all you will need.
Find exquisite idols and paintings of the goddess made by Indian artisans in our collection- The Invincible Shakti.
Donate to poor
There is no greater good and nothing fetches more satisfaction than tending to those in need. In times like these, it is necessary to help the poor families by doing our part- small or big.
Donate money to organisations that work for the cause, do not cut down the salaries of your housemaids. Instead, gift them fruits, sweets and clothes to make their festival joyous.
Garba at home
We cannot simply imagine Navaratri without Garba and Dandiya. We can’t attend one of those fancy events this year but we surely can dress up and groove to Falguni Pathak’s songs at home. Maybe even organize an event within your complex. However, ensure that no one is tested positive or shows symptoms of Corona. Also, ensure that you maintain proper social distancing.
Do not forget to upload your pictures on social media though.
Which brings us to
Checking up on your friends and family
We know this is not one of the brightest times to live in and the isolation can be challenging for many. Make sure you check up on your dear friends and family and share these ideas with them. You can also play a game or two of online ludo or cards to spend some time with them.
Support local artisans
Festivals like Navaratri and Ganesh Chaturti are the times when artisans work day and night to earn their bread and butter. Usually they would be busy making idols for us. This year is particularly challenging for them and other small sector workers. Show them your support by promoting their work, making a small or big purchase from them and paying them justly and by donating to organizations that look after them.
We at Artisanscrest take pride in promoting the work of local artisans of India who strive to keep the traditional art alive.Visit us at https://www.artisanscrest.in/
Following the Supreme Court’s verdict on Rama Janmabhoomi; Ayodhya saw grand celebrations on the occasion of bhumi pujan on 5th of August this year. Our honorable Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi ji laid the foundation stone, officially inaugurating the construction of the mandir.
On this cheerful opportunity, let us reminisce about the life Lord Rama who is to this date considered one of the most ideal kings to have walked on this planet.
Lord Rama was born in Treta Yuga to King Dasharatha and Queen Kaushalya in the holy land of Ayodhya. He belonged to a clan called Suryavanshis- descendants of the sun god. Being the eldest of the siblings, he was destined to rule the throne of Ayodhya, and he set ideal principles for not just a king but also for mankind.
His life and journey are narrated by Sage Valmiki in Hinduism’s most revered epic- Ramayana.
We bring to you some unheard legends from the scripture.
The ten heads of Ravana
Despite his inhuman abduction of Devi Sita, King Ravana was not all bad. He was in fact a staunch devotee of Lord Shiva, a great scholar, and an able ruler. He underwent extreme penance to please the Lord- to an extent that he cut his head off with an axe. Every time he did that, the head would regrow. This continued for ten times until Lord Shiva, pleased with his dedication, granted him ten heads- a representation of the six shastras and four vedas that he mastered.
The incarnation of Lord Rama’s brothers
It is known that Lord Rama was an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. However, did you know that his Sudharshan Chakra, Conch shell, and Shesh Naag also took birth along with him to accompany him in his purposeful journey?
They incarnated in the form of his brothers- Bharath (Sudharshan Chakra), Shatrughan (Conch-shell) and Lakshman (Shesh Naag).
Being the incarnation of the serpent is what gives Lakshmana his characteristic anger. He also took birth as Lord Krishna’s elder brother Balaram in Dwapara Yuga.
Abduction of Devi Sita
While Valmiki’s Ramayana narrates that Devi Sita was abducted by Ravana who carefully planned and executed it with the help of Mirich, it is however not very widely known that it was not the devi herself who was abducted but her shadow instead. Lord Rama had asked Agni Dev to look after her so he could ensue a battle with Ravana and kill him along with all his demons. This was also the reason why Lord Rama ordered for an Agni pariksha of the Devi. This was her way to come out of the fire and reunite with her shadow.
There are as many versions and legends to this great epic as one can dig.
With Corona positive cases skyrocketing, small-scale and large-scale businesses facing losses, jobs being affecting, and people losing their minds due to the isolation, we are undoubtedly living in difficult times. But on the brighter side, we are creating history for it is not every day that a pandemic halts the entire globe from functioning normally.
This iconic period sure deserved to be captured in many art forms. Ranging from drawing rainbows on windows to thank NHS workers to graffiti on walls and illustrations/graphics on social media, artists are doing their best to capture this event in art.
Hence, we could not help but wonder if the role of arts and crafts in this time goes beyond solidarity and gratitude.
Research proved that art is not only a form of expression but is also a very effective therapy/remedy for releasing stress and easing anxiety. The lockdown, isolation, boredom, financial pressure, news updates, etc., could be a lot to deal with.
What better way to spend your time with your loved ones and/or by yourself than to get those paints, papers, scissors, glue, and everything you can find and get down to making art.
We have listed a few ideas for you. Read on!
You can try your hand at traditional painting styles such as Warli, Madhubani, Tanjore paintings, Pattachitra, etc., for inspiration.
They have a sense of richness to them owing to their age’s long heritage.
While you are at it, teach your kid a thing or two about the history of the painting style. This will keep their interested, engaged while also helps keep the traditional art alive.
Pick one end of the rope and start rolling this to create a circular pattern. As you roll, make sure you apply generous quantities of glue so that it stays in place and the craft becomes rigid. Cut the other end of the rope and stick in it place for a smoother finish.
You can either color the craft or leave it as it is and use it as a coaster, wall hanging, etc. Get creative with your ideas.
Decide a theme, chalk a plan, and start having fun!
You can make some paintings, frame them, and hang them in your room. Spice up the space with some fairy lights.
Grab some old plastic bottles and paint them using acrylic colors. You can use them to place stationery, creeper plants, or just as showpieces, and they will instantly make the room look artsy.
Some amazing art channels like Iteeha, Kesh, and social media handles like Etsy India, and of course, Pinterest will help you boost your ever-expanding creative streak.
Like what you read? Stay tuned for more blogs and follow us on social media.
The Lost Wax Casting method dates back to almost 4000 years ago and the oldest artefacts were perhaps our first form of expression and art for early settlers, right after cave painting. There is reason to believe that the first civilization in Indus Valley used this technique extensively.
Now improvised and developed, it is used as a method to create many fine sculptures and is considered a heritage of the Dhokra Damar tribes of Eastern India (West Bengal and Odisha) and hence the name, Dhokra metal casting. Over time these tribes traveled far and wide to the north, west, and south making this style of craft popular across the globe.
The traditional process of wax casting involves creating a wax structure of the final image. Beeswax is usually used for this purpose. The wax structure is then covered in a thick mixture of sand and plaster which are then heated until the wax inside melts away. This creates a negative of the image- meaning the mold. Hot liquified metal is then poured into this mold and left to cool down and set. The artisans then proceed to break the sand and plaster mold revealing the metal sculpture. The sculpture is cleaned and smoothened giving the final output.
This method is famous for its tribal and primitive look owing to its stark motifs and forceful forms.
Displayed here is a Dhokra brass work by our artisans depicting figures of a tribal couple. Tribes hold a significant place in India for their heritage and culture and yet live a backward and shielded life, finding themselves meager jobs to sustain their families. This statue stands testimony to their simplicity- we see a tribal couple frozen in time as they do about their daily chores. The nature of the art is visible in the intricate casting of their clothing and jewellery as well as the precision in the objects they carry.This piece of art can be customised and resized according to your taste and requirements. Click here to know more: https://www.artisanscrest.in/collections/dhokra-brasswork/products/tribal-art-dhokra-brasswork-tribal-couple-09
It has barely been a year since the catastrophic cyclone Fani hit the streets of Odisha and the state received yet another major blow by cyclone Amphan. These calamities coupled with the COVID-19 lockdown have done no good to the local artisans of Odisha who are struggling to make their ends meet.
This eastern state is a heritage hub for the country as it houses the famous Puri Jagannath temple and the Konark Sun temple that have many tales, folklore, and legends revolving around them. They are also of immense religious significance.
Odisha is also home to the centuries-old Pattachitra painting style which translates to painting on cloth. Traditional Pattachitra artists, known as Chitrakaras, have been involved in keeping the art alive for many generations now.
However, due to lack of adequate patronage, such artisans, and other craftsmen all around the country often find themselves in poor financial conditions which forces them to look for other jobs.
What was already a pitiful condition only got worsened because of the many calamities and disasters hitting the country and world at large this year.
These are artisans that earn their day-to-day income by working in a traditional fashion of carrying their produce to the market and selling them. Because of the extensive lockdown to curb the Coronavirus from spreading, markets have been shut down and as a result, their sales!
While the government and the NGOs are doing everything in their capacity to offer relief and comfort to such small-scale vendors, it is about time that we view things in a larger scenario. An old saying goes, “If you want to feed someone for life, teach them how to fish.”
The Post-pandemic world is visualized to be digital. It would take a considerable time for the public to recover from the blow of the virus and many would not return to the streets and markets quickly.
It is therefore important that artisans adopt a proactive approach and take their art online. It would be a viable solution to help educate the artisans and acquaint them to the digital world so that they continue making art.
Artisans looking for jobs outside the arts and crafts industry poses the risk of the traditional art forms being lost in time. It is therefore our responsibility to stand in solidarity with the artisans and promote them, ensuring that they live a financially stable, dignified life.
We, at Artisanscrest are proud to be helping local, traditional artisans by giving their arts and crafts exposure on our website.
In the wake of the ongoing lockdown due to the COVID19 pandemic, many industries such as hospitality, transportation, apparel, food and beverages, manufacturing and construction, etc. have been hit severely.
One industry that is also suffering a severe setback is the art and craft industry.
A vast section of the rural population is employed in this industry and many artisans follow these traditions for hundreds of years. They are almost completely dependent on their craft to feed themselves and their families.
Despite their significance, artisans in India are often not remunerated fairly and they have been facing a financial crisis for a long time. The lockdown only worsened the situation for them.
It is, therefore, necessary that in this time of crisis, we join hands together and lift them up.
While the government does its job of providing financial aid and packages to the affected sectors, we can do our part by donating to NGOs that work for the welfare of local artisans.
India is quite equipped and capable of manufacturing good quality products and merchandise. Indian art is also rich and vibrant. Unfortunately, there exists a fad for imported goods and artefacts.
It is time that we honor our Prime Minister’s appeal of #vocalforlocal. Let us choose to empower and lift our artisans instead of opting for relying on imports.
An old saying goes, “if you want to feed a man for a day, give him food. If you want to feed him for life, teach him to fish.”
In this digital era, everything is available at a click. Internet and eCommerce is a very vital source of income even for artisans. Local artisans hailing from rural backgrounds, however, do not have access and knowledge to sell online.
We as fellow citizens with access to the internet and social media can help them by promoting their works. Giving them a shoutout, shooting a documentary, writing a blog, etc. are ways one can contribute.
There are also websites that actively engage in hosting artefacts and handicrafts designed and crafted by local, traditional artisans.
We at Artisanscrest take pride in being one of them where we bring together exquisite pieces of handmade paintings, sculptures, woodworks, textiles, jewellery, and more.
It is a sad reality that due to unfair and inadequate remuneration, more and more heirs of traditional artisanal families are opting for jobs outside the arts and crafts industry. If this curve continues, there will soon be a time when Indian art becomes history.
Schools and other institutes can organise paid programs where artisans engage in teaching students the traditional process of making different forms of art.
This will ensure more income for artisans while also keeps the art alive in young generations.
It is our duty and responsibility that we uplift our economy in an effective and all-inclusive manner. Let us become #atmanirbhar and support/empower Indian manufacturers, companies, entrepreneurs, and artisans.
Devi Durga, also identified by the name Adi Parashakti is the warrior goddess of heaven whose stories revolve around wars fought over evil to restore peace and justice.
The famous of all and the reason for her incarnation is the story of Mahishasura. He was a mighty demon who could take the form of any animal but most often appeared as a buffalo. Indian mythology narrates that Mahishasura performed penance for Lord Brahma to appear and grant him the boon of being invincible. He demanded that no man or animal can harm him. he believed that a woman cannot fight him.
As is customary, Lord Brahma granted him the boon. With the confidence of his new-found "immortality", he soon began to conquer the universe and caused chaos in the Trilok (the hell, the heaven, and the earth). Unable to defeat him, the gods decided to approach Lord Vishnu for a solution and thus, to defeat him was created the incarnation of Mahadevi.
She was bestowed with Lord Shiva’s trident, Lord Vishnu’s Sudarshana Chakra, Lord Brahma’s Kamandalam, Lord Indra’s Vajrayudham, Varuna’s Conch, Agni’s Missiles, Vayu’s bow and arrows and Lord Vishwakarma’s axe while the Himalayas gave her a lion to ride on.
Armed with divine weapons, Goddess Durga defeated Mahishasura in a fierce battle that lasted for over ten days and hence the title Mahishasura Mardini meaning "the slayer of Mahishasura". It is in this form of her defeating the demon, armed with weapons and seated on a lion that she is often portrayed and sculptured.
The story of Lord Durga defeating the buffalo demon is an often narrated tale in Shaktism- a cult in Hinduism where Shakti (the feminine power) is worshipped. It is also mentioned in their sacred scripture called the Devi Mahatmya.
A historic city in the southern state of Karnataka called Mysore gets its name from the goddess. People of the place recall the killing of Mahisharura by Devi Durga during Navratri and Mysore Dasara where grand festivities are organized in great pomp to celebrate the triumph of good over evil.
Our traditional artists with their fine craftsmanship manage to capture this divine moment on a piece of cloth. This style of art originates in Odisha and is called Pattachitra- literally meaning "art on cloth". Stark features of this art form include the usage of bright pigments that are often made using natural elements and an intricately designed border on each painting.
This painting can be customized according to your needs. Find the link for this painting here: https://www.artisanscrest.in/products/painting-pattachitra-durga-09
At Artisanscrest we always strive to keep alive the beauty and grandeur of traditional Indian art. For this, we work with local artisans who are each skilled in their own style ranging from Pattachitra Paintings and Kerala Murals to Dhokra Brass Works and exquisite sculptures.
It is also our attempt that we cater to all the needs of our customers so they receive a piece of art that is customized to suit their requirements and one that will stay a prized possession to them for a very long time.
In our journey, it always motivates us when we receive a kind appreciation from our customers.
Annapurna Dixit, a patron and art connoisseur, recently purchased a sculpture of Goddess Saraswati made out of black stone from us.
She said, “It is looking beautiful as it is- just what I imagined Goddess Saraswati would look like”.
Everything we create is with love and passion. Hearing such words of praise from art aficionados makes us twice as determined to continue the good work.
Our deepest thanks to the lady.