Odisha has sought a Geographical Indication (GI) tag for its famed brass and bell metal production processes and products which are widespread across the State.
Utkalika, which functions under the State’s Directorate of Handicrafts of Handlooms, has submitted an application with the Registrar of Geographical Indication, Chennai.
The brass and bell metal products are manufactured using brass and scrap material as the main raw material. Multiple clusters across 28 districts in the State have been covered under the application.
According to Manas Chandra Behera — a lecturer at the Nilamadhava Mahavidyalaya, Kantilo, and researcher on brass and bell metal — from ancient times, the artisans of Odisha knew the scientific process of preparing an alloy of zinc and brass known as bell-metal.
“The daily utility utensils are produced in artistic designs. It is a custom in Odisha to give some utility utensils of bell-metal during the daughter’s marriage. These utensils are also considered assets of a family. Utensils of various sizes and different designs cover all sorts of articles a man uses in day-to-day life,” Mr. Behera said.
He said that the artisans follow two processes of production – one by way of casting in mould and the second by constant beating to get the required size and shapes.
“Apart from utensils, artisans produce different kinds of statues such as the gods and goddesses in Balakati and Kantilo of the undivided Puri District, Bhuban in Dhenkanal District, Baidyarajpur in Cuttack District, Bellaguntha in Ganjam District, Remuna in Balasore district,” Mr. Behera said.
Earlier, GI registration in respect of Konark stone carving, Pipili Applique work and Odisha Pattachitra had been obtained. GI applications have been filed with regards to the silver filigree (Chandi Tarakasi) of Cuttack.
The Directorate of Handicrafts of Handlooms said steps were being taken to file an application for the GI tagging of Bellaguntha flexible brass fish, terracotta roof tiles of Barpalli, Bargarh, paper mache masks, Puri, straw craft, Jiral, Dhenkanal, lacquer toys, Balasore, and dhokra casting.