The famous Tamil Nadu arts and crafts are much known for their magnificent aesthetic and utilitarian value. Today, the craft traditions of the Tamilnadu state have flourished into full-fledged industries in themselves.The world famous Tanjore paintings carved out of thin gold sheet is just amazing.Jewelery,pottery,woodcraft,stone carvings are some of the other arts form of Tamil Nadu, contrived by Indian craftsmen, that have made their special place and demand in the international market.

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India - Tamil Nadu - Arts and Crafts of Tamil Nadu

Arts and Crafts of Tamil Nadu

The famous arts and crafts of Tamil Nadu, in its earlier stages was highly influenced by the temple economy that prevailed for a long time in this part of the country. These rich temples of the region were like budding ground for the craftsmen who used get constant construction work in these temples and helping them to regularly upgrade their knowledge and experience.

¤ Famous Paintings of Tanjore

Arts and CraftsThe well-known Tanjore paintings are the most important handicrafts of Tamil Nadu. These paintings are painted on wood, glass, mica, ivory and on walls, are defined by the use of thin sheet of gold along with primary colors, stylized modeling effects by shading the inside of the contours. Jewels, drapery and architectural elements like finely executed pillars, rich canopies, garlands of ropes and chandeliers are slightly raised by the use of special plaster, covered with pure gold leaf and embedded with semi-precious stone of different colors. Painting on ivory, mica, and the more difficult genre of glass paintings, were all introduced in the 18th century. Whereas the religious paintings are highly decorative and flat, the paintings of the women are highly conventionalized with an element of reality infused in the portraits.

¤ The Craft of Making Musical Instruments

Music and dance played an important role in the life of Tamil Nadu. Thus, the making of musical instruments became a major craft, here. Most of the centers for this craft are situated around Thanjavur, which is also the hometown of many famous musicians of the country.
According to the Tamil classic, the Silappadikaaram, there's an ancient Tamil instrument, the wooden Yaazh in the shape of boats, fishes, and crocodiles, which is similar to the harp or lute. This instrument has been replaced by the more versatile Veena, made of Jackwood. The various parts of this instrument are, the kudam (pot), top plank, neck and yaali. These are first assembled and a mixture of honey wax and black powder is applied to the top plank. Then it is further processed for completion. In Thanjavur, there are families that are into the trade of manufacturing Veenas for generations. Other musical instruments are the Thamburas with their wooden bases, the flute or kuzhal-a wind instrument associated with Lord Krishna. It is popularly known as Vangiyam, made of bamboo, sandalwood, bronze, sengaali and karungaali woods.

¤ The Art of Creating Jewelery

Just like other parts of the country, Tamil Nadu has its own traditional jewellery-especially the stone-encrusted jewelery, which reached its peak here. The ornaments, which are popular here are the oddiyaanam (gold waist belt), vanki (armlet) and jimiki (eardrop), which are traditionally crafted and finished with great dexterity. The jimiki is a bell-shaped ear jewel set in colored stones with pearls hanging at the lower end, and hangs from the lotus shaped kammal of diamonds or rubies worn on the lower lobe of the ear. Other beautiful jewel that Tamil women wear are maattal, adigai, maangaamaalai, thaali or mangalasuthra, kaasumaalai, puduchcheri golusu, Gajja golusu.

¤ Metalware in Tamil Nadu

The famous brass and copper metalware has a rich and ancient tradition in Tamil Nadu. These metal objects are used for both religious and secular purposes, though utility is a primary consideration. The deepam or lamp are regarded as a symbol of Agni, which is auspicious and is the best known of the State's metalware. There is a good variety of lamps that includes standing lamps, aarathi (votive lamps), deepalakshmis, hand lamps and chain lamps. Patterned trays and shallow dishes in circular, hexagonal, octagonal and oval shapes are widely used in Tamil Nadu and are made out of bronze or sheet brass. The popular Thanjavur plates feature designs of deities, birds, flowers, and geometric patterns beaten out from the back of copper and silver sheets and subsequently encrusted on a brass tray, kudam or panchpaathra. Metal toys include models of horses, cows or elephants are made chiefly of brass. A whole range of attractively polished and finished utensils of utilitarian value are also made.

¤ Pottery

Woodcraft, TamilnaduThe famous art of pottery has been practiced here from ancient times, which is expressed in the manufacture of the famous Ayyannar horses. The horses are said to protect each village from evil. The large terracotta horses are made in Salem and Pudukottai. The horses were originally made and fired individually. But with increasing popularity of terracotta art items, the moulds began to be put into use.

¤ Woodcraft

Tamil Nadu's artistically created basketry and fiber products is in demand both in India and abroad. While palm has become a major source of raw material for basketry and related products, bamboo, cane, grasses, reeds and fibres are also used in making baskets, ropes, mats and many other items. The main centers of these crafts are to be found in Dharampuri, Salem, Coimbatore, South Arcot and Tiruchirapalli districts.

¤ Stone Carving

Stone carving have reached a high degree of excellence in this southern state very early in history. Today, granite carving is confined to the areas around Mamallapuram and Chingleput. The famous sculptors here belong to the Vishwakarma or Kammaalar community. A subsidiary form of carving is soapstone or maakal carving, found in the region between Pondicherry and Cuddalore and around Salem.

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