Dhokra or Dokra, also known as bell metal craft, is a form of ancient art practiced by the Ojha metal smiths living in states like Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, West Bengal and Telangana while the style and also the workmanship of this artisan community varies in different states.
It is a tribal metal craft practiced in Ushegaon village of Jainoor Mandal, Adilabad District of Telangana. In Telangana, they are also known as Ojjis who make brass metal art objects using the complex but the perfect lost-wax technique for casting of the metal.
The technique of lost wax casting is being practiced in India for more than 4000 years and even to this day, it is in use by these craftsmen. Dokra is a labor-intensive work, because even a simple piece requires 4-5 days while complicated designs may require 2-3 weeks. The Dokra artefacts, mainly made in brass are highly unique wherein the pieces do not have any form of joints.
The entire object is fully handcrafted with traditional designs being considered highly aesthetic in nature and a collector’s delight. The lost wax technique is a distinct form where the mould is used only once and broken, which makes the figure unique in the handicraft market.
Dhokra represents the exquisite variety and glory of Telangana’s handicrafts. The work is popular across the domestic and international markets due to the aesthetic and primitive simplicity. The designs made are metal figurines, elephants, folk motifs, peacocks, horses and also household articles such as measuring bowls. Pen holder, oil lamps, Pandhan, wall hanging, hanging bells, paper weights, card holder and many such appealing products are creating using Dhokra.