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Tuesday, Feb 15, 2005

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Charming handicrafts from Orissa are just waiting to be picked up


ODIANI IS an organisation devoted to the resuscitation of the traditional arts and crafts of Orissa. The ongoing exhibition and sale organised by Odiani emphatically revealed the traditional crafts of Orissa are not just existing but thriving in newer and trendier avatars.

The greeting cards with exquisite palm leaf paintings are just one example of the incredibly user-friendly range. For just Rs. 30 you get to buy these paintings that you could send as a greeting card or be selfish and frame to keep for your eyes only. The paintings use tribal as well as mythological themes. The bookmark in palm leaf with a dainty tag in bead and shell is a delight for Rs. 10.

The tribal jewellery continues to rock - especially the brass and black thread stuff is guaranteed to blow the mind. Then you have the traditional palm leaf paintings fixed on cloth to make a fascinating wall hanging. Jute bags and terracotta, seashells, the traditional dhokra work all make a colourful show. And then you have the versatile mats with their vibrant colours that can be hung up on the wall, put on the floor or even used as screens!

And if you want to liven up your wall with a couple of masks, the traditional Puri Jagannath ones as well as intricately done dokra ones are just the ticket. Bell metal and brass curios vie for space with the belle the ball - the coconut fibre products.

A charming marriage of utility and grace, grab the darling penholder with the intricately done moose complete with antlers and all. There are also sturdy tortoises, elephants and horses apart from the grinning T-Rex.

For all the sales in the many malls, it would do well to grace this ode to a way of life that is constantly reinventing itself against all odds.

MINI ANTHIKAD-CHHIBBER

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