Author: Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay
Publisher: Indian Council for Cultural Relations
ISBN/UPC (if available): 8122407971
Today when the question is asked why handicrafts, the answer cannot be very simple. For they mean much more than catering to man's physical needs. The answer will emerge if we go down the passage of history and trace out cultural evolution to a craft-oriented society in which handicrafts still had an honoured place and the concepts of arts and crafts were interchangeable.
We recognise that craft is as much an expression of the human spirit in material form, which gives delight to mankind, as any of what are termed fine arts.
Despite the considerable richness and variety of Indian handicrafts, books on the subject are astonishingly few. Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay’s book fills this gap. Ever since it was first published in 1975, it has remained as the single most informative book on the fascinating world of Indian handicrafts.
The great merit of this book is that it is written with charming felicity unburdened with a dry recital of facts, figures and techniques. Instead, these are taken into the whole gamut of crafts and examined in relation to historical, cultural and sociological evolution through the centuries of man himself. A certain element of drama is thus inherently evoked and our understanding of crafts assumes a deeper perception.
Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay devoted her life to dedicated and pioneering work in social, economic and cultural development chiefly in cooperatives, theatre, women’s welfare and handicrafts. She has written extensively on all these subjects and she must rank as the single person in India whose tireless advocacy of the need and relevance of crafts in modern living not only rescued them from neglect and oblivion but also made them an imperative of graceful life all over the world. Indeed, few could have written this book with greater authority and greater lucidity.
Basketry, Mat Weaving, etc.
Horn, Shola Pith, etc.
Toys and dolls