Rajasthan culture, tradition and craft are very distinctive. It is known for wood craft and wood carving. The skilled craftsmen create wood work with intricate patterns. With the help of Rajasthan arts & craft shops they have found many patrons who enjoy the workmanship. Carved sandalwood is used to create desert caravan with tiny camels. These caravans are embellished with painting of Lord Krishna and other scenes from the Hindu Epics. Fragrant sandalwood key chains, paper knives and trinket boxes are made in stunning designs. No wonder they are a part of traditional Rajasthan arts & craft.
Wood work is not restricted to gift articles, statues and show pieces. The wooden furniture has inspired the home furnishing industry worldwide. Earlier, furniture were inlaid with brass sheet work or painted with dancing figures or embellished with hunting scenes. Now new designs have hit the market. The traditional furniture can be seen in the palaces of Ramgarh, Shekhwati, Barmer and Bikaner. Tilona and Patra furniture are most popular art produced by skilled labors. This furniture stands out for its fine quality and artwork and most Rajasthan arts & craft shops display them proudly. Tilona is known for its fine embroidery work done on leather and patra is known for the elegance of white metal. As the Rajasthan arts & craft vendors realize the importance of these items in the market they can generate revenue for the poor artisans. The wood carving industry of Rajasthan has developed a niche in the global market.
Puppets fascinate and entertain adults and children universally. In Rajasthan puppet craft is fully developed and is a fundamental part of Rajasthan art and craft. It is one of its kind craft. Even the young children and elderly people are involved in making puppets. Called kathputlis in local language it is now a leading earner for Rajasthan art and craft. It has always been one of the greatest sources of fun and entertainment. Many folk tales of courageous Maharanas have been staged with puppets.
Kathputlis or wooden puppets are produced by many artisans to earn their livelihood and many of the small children just make them because they enjoy this creative art. These puppets are commonly used for entertaining tourists and other guests in almost all the villages of Rajasthan. There is storyteller who unwinds a fictitious folk tale or a real episode from the Hindu epics - the Ramayana or the Mahabharata. He makes use of these kathputlis while telling the story. Each puppet resembles a character in the tale. The film industry may have beaten the puppet theater in India but yet the significance of these artistic puppets still amuses the audience. The fact that they are still amusing, the Rajasthan art and craft have revived them at least for the visitors. It is better to have them in small numbers rather than letting the die a natural death. It is to the credit of the Rajasthan art and craft that puppets can be used as wall decorations.
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