Bone Handicraft and Lucknow

In the midst of all busy life in the old city of Lucknow exists a beautiful craft form and Lucknow is one of the major centre of bone handicrafts. The essence of nazkat is well portrayed in this form of art and is being taken forward by the artists. It is amazing to know the types of art and craft that are prevalent in Lucknow. Bone craft dates back to centuries ago when ornaments and other items were prepared from bones or horns of animals. Ivory tusk is widely renowned for its ornamental purpose until recent controversies. Camel bone art of Lucknow is one of a kind that should be preserved and promoted. We learnt about the intricacies of this art form which requires great skill, a high degree of concentration and great imagination. Artists mastered dexterity in using miniature tools to create a fine piece of art, rooting to Lucknow. Almost everything like ornaments, lamps, scissors, bookmarks, combs, decorative pieces etc. are being made. The camel bone art of Lucknow follows a typical Awadhi style of design which you would observe in other arts & crafts forms. Jaali work is predominantly used along with bel and patti. Steps in creating a sheer piece of camel bone art involves details and precision. Once the camel bone is bought from the market it is washed in hydrogen to remove dullness. It is then cut into sizes as required followed by designing. While designing they use their self made tools called ‘tilli’. Jalaluddin Saheb is an expert in creating beauty out of camel bone. He has been working with this craft for over 25 years and inherited it from his uncle namely Mohammed Wasim. Jalaluddin Saheb has won Uttar Pradesh State Award for Artisans in 2001 and National Award in 2009 for his work on ‘light lamp’. He spoke about his hard work; dedication and devotion to this craft form which helped him grow in life. He exhibits his camel bone craft in Surajkund Mela, Lucknow Mahotsav, Dilli Haat, Gandhi Shilp Mela etc.

Credit : Intern – Nishita Banerjee