Dhurries and Carpets of West Bengal

Dhurries, Floor Covering, Carpets

Dhurries and Carpets of West Bengal

The community of bhutias weave carpets in wool, a task performed mainly by the women. The designs are inspired from Tibet. The Tribal Welfare Centre makes ordinary carpets on the big looms, but better looking ones on the loin-looms. Another place which is a fully functional carpet-making unit is the Tibetan Refugees Self-Help Centre. The motifs are derived from various elements in Tibetan iconography and ancient beliefs, woven into an integrated composition which results in a bold design. Strong colours are used to offset muted shades.
One of the most famous dragon motifs of Tibetan origin is the duk goh, a standing version. When a bird is also present in the same motif then it is called as dhuk thang gyaja. Pema gyaja is a lotus with a bird and pema thang gumbo is a combination of lotus and bats. Gyaja thang medok is a combination of a bird and flower and nehtsho thang medok is a combination of a parrot and flower. Another motif has flowers in the field with a broken border of flowers and swastikas alternating, and another one is the Wall of China. Kalimpong also has a centre for Tibetan carpets. Bhutanese, Nepalese, and Lepcha weavers make Tibetan style carpets. The carpets are exported and also cater to local needs.

The craft of carpet weaving requires a high degree of skill and dexterity. A typical feature of the Indian carpet is the border design, where different patterns match the design in the centre. The colour scheme is arranged so as to eliminate any shadow in the pattern. Symmetry has to be maintained so the ornamentation is distributed finely over the surface. Both colours and motifs convey a symbolic meaning; the motifs dominantly include human figures, flora, fauna, landscape, and water.


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