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Plaster And Paper Mache Crafts In Odisha


Paper Mache
This skill has been creatively practiced by crafts persons from all over Orissa. Paper, waste cloth and different kinds of natural fibers are soaked and beaten into a pulp, then mixed with a variety of seeds and gums for strength and as protection from termites. Special clays and bio-wastes are added for body and reinforcement. The entire process results in a malleable that it requires little skill to be molded into countless forms. However, despite its versatility this craft has remained neglected.

Plasters
The application of plasters to her dwellings is often the rural woman's medium of creative expression reflecting both in terms of colors and symbols, the close identification of man with nature. From clay come the colors ochre, geru, charcoal grey and white which are either used naturally or mixed with pigments purchased from the markets. The images created by her are timeless yet ephemeral, with the sun and the rain taking their toll. The predominantly geometric forms - a straight line, a square covered in dots, waves, triangles pointing to the sky and downwards - can have the most disparate of meanings but the symbolism of fertility is implicit in all of them. The tools used for applying the plasters whether on hut walls or floors are basic. They use twigs, fingers, whole hands and rags.

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