Fish Tales Etched in Brass

It may be made of brass, but this fish can still flap a fin and touch its tail. The craft of making the flexible brass fish occupies a significant place in Odisha’s rich handicraft tradition. In the lanes of Belaguntha village in Ganjam district of Odisha, three craftsmen from the Kansari community—Pradeep Maharana, Maheswar Maharana and Sushanta Sahoo—have kept this unique art form alive, which has been fighting obscurity in the face of modernity.

While the craft was started by Pradeep’s ancestors during the rule of the Bhanja kings in the 9th century, Sushanta learnt it from Pradeep’s parents. Maheswar, 85, is the only remaining artist in the village, who can make flexible fishes in wood.

In the 90s, Maheswar made the Matsya (Sanskrit for fish) avatar of Lord Jagannath for which, he got the Odisha State Handicraft Award. His creation comprised of an idol of Lord Jagannath coming out of the mouth of a wooden flexible fish...............Read more


Source: The New Indian Express

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