Masala Zone Earls Court has splendid arrays of bronze statuettes from Bastar and wooden printed blocks based on designs used to make fabrics from Gujarat.
Bastar Art, practiced by the tribes of the Bastar region in the state of Chhattisgarh in central India, is prominent amongst the Tribal arts. Bastar artefacts usually depict the rural lifestyle of the tribal community, incorporating pastoral scenes with the farmer as the main focus.
The Bastar Tribes were the first metal smiths of India and they still continue with the ancient practice. These tribal artists bring out a unique view of life, nature and the gods, through age-old processes of metalwork. Their process is simple: using only a few tools and a simple furnace of a handful of coals, they twist and bend hot iron into expressive shapes.
Gujarat has the most vibrant, fine and varied collection of embroidery to be found in India.
Variation in design used by different communities, castes and regions of the state have further enriched the range. Unchanged from generation to generation, each community passes on its own distinct designs, colours and range of stitches which together with the cut of their garments and their own particular tie-and-dye and block-printed designs, form the major visual part of a caste’s cultural identity.
The variety of techniques, rich skill in carving of blocks and mastery of dying techniques is a clear indication of the rich tradition of printing, painting and dying of cloth.