The ancient art form, Dhokra, is now on the edge of its tradition. This brass art technique is passed by generation to generation, keeping the design and manufacture process the same for ages, but its style is vulnerable to the change of customs and demand. Especially in the era of modern technology and culture, the appreciation to the old style figures is not existing in people’s mind. Conjunction of the market factor, social circumstances and financial status, the artisans are struggling to survive with the art work. The future of Dhokra tradition is obscure at this moment.
In the old days, Dhokra was producing the figure of animal and religious images, which people worshiped to get rid of misfortune and sorrow. If there was a rhino ruining the village’s farmland for example, people worshiped a rhino figured Dhokra work to avoid the misfortune and distraction caused by the animal. Now, with the advanced technology and the fade of the superstition faith in people’s mind, the demand for the animal figure and primitive gods is shifted to the demand for the exotic ornament.
These days, even the demand for those ornaments is going away. The Dhokra works are changing its forms into exotic jewelries, room decorations, and tourist souvenirs. The traditional designs and technique are disappearing according to the market demand change. Even the awareness and knowledge on the meaning of particular traditional designs and figures are also disappearing. The artisans are struggling in the poverty.
The future of Dhokra is not clear. It is only in our hand.