Wood Carving of Andaman & Nicobar

The people from Andaman and Nicobar use wood which is locally available in abundance to construct houses, fence plantations, make canoes, furniture and other items for decoration and domestic use. There are some islands other than Nicobar that have a tradition of carving wooden statues of human figures, birds and animals, which are used to ward off evil spirits. These figures which are palced at the entrances or in the houses are well-crafted and painted with bright colours.

Specially crafted mementoes for tourist are also made here with the crossbow being a favourite item that tourists love to carry home. It consists of a central beam of wood with grooves and iron loops to hold arrows and a quiver. A trigger made of wood or bone is fixed to the lower portion of the beam. The crossbow is used with one hand and can shoot up to 150 yards. Another attractive work of art is a small wooden canoe model carved and shaped with a knife to which miniature sails of cloth are added.

Drift wood which is shaped by the flow and currents of the sea and converted into objects of art is available in abundance in the Andamans. The drift wood may be smoothened and polished ar left untouched to give it a natural look and used for decoration purposes. Walking and billiard sticks are a few other items made by the local craftspersons of thos region.