Best of Bengal

Terracotta Horses from Bankura

  • Elegant, stately and unique, the iconic terracotta (clay craft) horse - with its unusually long neck, and contrasting short, compact body, of Bankura district in West Bengal is one of the most recognised symbols of Indian folk art.

  • The terracotta horses are first crafted on the potter's wheel in seven separate pieces, which are then joined using clay - by a process called ghora jora, following which leaf-like ears, fine dots and detailing with floral and geometric designs are attached to the body.

  • The artistic clay figures are sun-dried, smoothened, designed and coloured before being fired in traditional village kilns.

  • The many legends about the origin of the horse include that it would be offered to appease Dharma Thakur, Manasa and numerous other village deities.

  • Turned out in two colours - red and black, the terracotta horses produced in the village of Panchmura (near Bishnupur) are the most famous.

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