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Terracotta figurines made by artists of Panchmura village.
Terracotta figurines made by artists of Panchmura village.

Terracotta artists in Bankura want redressal of transport services, resource scarcity

ANI | Updated: Apr 02, 2021 15:33 IST

By Joymala Bagchi
Bankura (West Bengal) [India], April 2 (ANI): Although trade is flourishing in Bankura, the terracotta artists in the district are facing scarcity of resources and poor transportation services, thus getting worried about their future.
Panchmura village in the Bankura district is famous for its terracotta art (handmade art made of red clay) which is professionally practiced by 80 families at present.
Only one kind of soil, locally known as 'Etel Mati', is required which is available in a village name 'Pattetul' -- approximately at a distance of 2.5 kilometers from Panchmura.
The artists buy one 'Bigha' (14348.29 sq ft) land for Rs 2 to 2.5 lakhs and use it for the clay for a maximum of two years. After that, they once again have to buy a piece of land.
However, Baul Das Kumbhakar, a traditional terracotta artist, told ANI, "We are facing a dearth in raw materials because we need only one particular type of clay for which we need to buy land. However these days, very few are willing to sell their land."

Transportation and proper packaging are two crucial issues that the craftsmen want to be immediately addressed.
"There is only one bus available here and for the same people who are willing to come here to see our art or talk to us regarding business purpose fails to reach us," added Kumbhakar.
Terracotta art, being made of clay and intricate packaging for its delicateness, for which artists demand a size-based packaging facility to boost up the terracotta business.
"So many people ask us for online orders but we fail to deliver them because of the packaging problem. The more we can sell, the more it will help us in earning and will generate interest among the young ones," said another terracotta artist Chandi.
Terracotta art dates back to ancient times and often known as clay poetry. It is made of dry clay which is baked in a kiln or combustible material at a typical firing temperature.
In Bankura, it was primarily made for offering to gods and goddesses since ages before it came to the limelight. Since then, designs were given to the shapes and forms of which 'Bankura Horse' became world-famous just as 'Bankura tiles.'
Terracotta artists earn a minimum of Rs 60,000 to 70,000 annually. (ANI)