Wood Carving of Chhattisgarh

Traditional wood carving in Chhattisgarh is an ancient craft, the skills of which are passed on from generation to generation. The craftsmen are rich in experience and make products like fixtures of houses, pillars, bows and arrows, Mata Jhulas, farm implements and ritual items. Life size figures of animals, birds, gods, goddesses and humans are made in Raigarh and Sarguja.

The membranophone, a tribal musical instrument, is also made in Chhattisgarh with designs carved on their surfaces. Ritual wooden objects with beautiful carvings are found in nearly all tribal groups and beautifully ornamented wooden imitations of axes, battle axes and spears are held by artists while performing the ritual dance sequences. The designs are carved by using a red-hot iron knife or a nail which burns the wood and leaves a linear grooved impression on the motifs which are generally geometric patterns, snakes, combs, the sun and moon. Wooden birds that can flap their wings are also carved here. The wood carvers use simple but durable tools crafted out of iron but have wooden grips and include the kaas or axe for shaping the bark and the chisel for carving and scrapping the wood.