A woman from Pokharan giving final touch to pot
A woman from Pokharan giving final touch to pot

Bhopal: Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Manav Sangrahalaya (IGRMS), Bhopal, has displayed traditional pottery of Pokhran with basic information and photographs and videos on its official website and social media pages. The event, which began from Thursday, is a part of online exhibition series-34. The exhibit is installed in Open Air Exhibition of Kumhar-Para of the museum.

Museum associate Garima Anand Dubey said Pokhran, a town between Jodhpur and Jaisalmer districts of Rajasthan, has ancient heritage. The word Pokharan means - the city of five mirages or illusions - as it is surrounded by salt rocks and sand.

The city came to light in 1974 and later in 1998 as the test site for India’s underground nuclear explosion. But before that and through ages, the soil of Pokhran has been used to make earthen wares. Potters prepare articles of domestic use, religious and decoration of different shapes, size in red and white colours.

Domestic pottery is found in innumerable shapes and sizes, and inseparable from any scene of life cycle. The common ones are unsophisticated, free from artifice while occasion specific have designs and decorations etched in geometrical patterns, floral motifs etc. Most importantly, shape is dictated by function. “The best known item is the water bottle for long journeys,” says Dubey.

Pokhran pottery
Pokhran pottery
Students learn pottery
Students learn pottery

Pottery is one amongst few handicrafts, which has been playing a significant role in describing the unity in diversity of Indian communities especially the rural ones, and that is why pottery is called the lyric of handicrafts.

A publication of Geneva Museum of Ethnology said, “Nowhere in the world is the part played by traditional folk pottery greater than in India.” “This exceptional importance, both numerical as well as functional, arises from the fact that while working in clay in India has a sociological basis, it has a religious value unlike other countries where it is simply utilitarian,” Mishra added.

Pokhran potters at work
Pokhran potters at work

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