The crafts of India are diverse and depict rich history, culture, religion, and civilization. The craft of the different states of India reflect the influence of different cultural patterns and hold a strong story behind its origin. For over decades, crafts have been rooted as a symbol of culture and tradition within different communities of India.

Different types of Indian Traditional Crafts

Each state of our incredible India showcases its own unique charm. When it comes to handicrafts, the exquisite and glorious craftsmanship leaves us mesmerized. Here is a list of traditional Indian crafts that have defined refinement since time immemorial.

  • Bamboo Craft Work: Bamboo Craft is one of the oldest crafts better-known in India. It’s unanimously practiced in different regions throughout India. Indian artisans craft beautiful decorative pieces from bamboo. Other bamboo products range widely from boxes, chairs, teapots, baskets, handbags, etc. Throughout the years bamboo craft has gained its prominence in the Eastern part of the country.
  • Banana Fibre Craft Work: This craft is mainly practiced by the rural locals of south India. Banana fibres are used to make many items such as table mats, wall hangings, bags, and mats. These products are quite durable too. Pattu sari was also made using banana fibres. 

  • Cane Craft Work: Cane is extensively used for making common household accessories. Cane sticks are widely used to tie and bend together to make furniture, racks, swing, baskets, etc. It is therefore considered to be favourable for making both indoor and outdoor furniture.  Because of the versatility of the fibre, it is extensively used in the modern-day too. The state of Assam masters in cane crafting. 

  • Kauna Reed Craft: Famously known as ‘bulrush’, local artisans from Manipur call perennial grass-like plants or wild water reeds as Kauna. This plant is often grown in areas where paddy is not cultivated and is used as a delicacy. Apart from this, the stems of Kauna are often used to weave baskets, mats, bags and boxes.

  • Sikki Grass Craft: Mostly found in Bihar, and other middle-eastern states of India, this gold-tinted grass is considered auspicious by the natives. There are hardly any rituals or holy ceremonies where Sikki grass is not offered to the Goddess. Women are skilled labourers for this craft. Fine gold-tinted glass, dolls, toys, jewellery boxes, and several other utilities and decorative products and “Pauti”, the woven baskets are made from Sikki grass.

  • Coconut Fibre Craft: Also known as ‘Coir’, these are completely natural and 100% eco-friendly products made out of coconut fibre. The main practitioner of the Coir craft is Siriapur in Patnaika situated in Puri District. Products made of coconut fibre are home decors, toys, baskets, etc.

  • Palm Leaf Grass Craft Work: Palm leaf craft is very commonly practiced in different parts of India. In Haryana, the women of the Audh community started making palm-leaf baskets with locally grown date palm, phoos (wild grass) and pula (thin leaves of the sarkanda plant) that became their means of earning bread. The states of Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, and Karnataka too master the palm leaf craft.
  • Jodhpuri Cast Iron Craft: The rich and cultural history of Rajasthan reveals that the kings and their royalties were patrons of iron and metal craftsmanship. Most of the production of cast iron crafts is exported abroad and curated locally in India. 

  • Marble Work: Marble handicrafts are largely available in various attractive designs in different states of India. The marble products are skillfully crafted by the local artisans with utmost care and using simple tools with hand carving. Jaipur, a royal city of Rajasthan is famous for its marble crafts. Decorative marble handicraft items include flower pots and vases. On the other hand, utility marble handicrafts include holders, clocks, pooja thali, kumkum boxes, jewellery boxes, marble pots, trays, lamps, chowki, glass, tables, and many more.

  • Stone Carving Craft: Since ancient eras, stone craft has been one of the most prevailing arts of Bihar. Traditional techniques of stone polishing are done in Gaya, which ranks as one of the largest producers of stone crafts in Bihar. The Ashoka Pillar at Sarnath stands out as one of the most majestic and magnificent artistic excellence of the ancient artisans of Bihar. Stone statues of various deities of Gods and Goddesses, utility items such as bowls, coasters, mortar kharal (medicine grinder), tableware are found profusely. 

  • Terracotta Clay Craft: The finest terracotta works can be found in the Sabarkantha district of Gujarat. Traditional terracotta sculptures can be found in several households, lending a touch of rustic appearance to the decor. The tribal locals of the village curate these crafts to perfection. Among the sculptures, the figures of Horses are most common, often used to address local Goddesses. 

  • Bronze Sculptures: Much like how the Indian artisans have mastered the terracotta and stone carving craft, bronze sculpting is also been widely practiced in this country for decades now. Bronze sculptures of ancient Buddhist, Hindu, and Jain icons have been discovered from many states of India that present exquisite beauty and aesthetic appeal. 

  • Meenakari Work: The artisans of Gujarat mastered the craft of adorning metal pieces since the Indus Valley civilization. Meenakari’ involves the art of designing metal pieces with intricate and detailed designs using different bright colours after moulding them to desired shapes. Sculptures, flower vases, utensils, jewellery boxes, ornaments, etc are popular in this form of craft.

  • Mud Work: The craft of mud work is deeply ingrained in Gujarat’s history and represents the authentic culture and tradition of the state. Hand-painted traditional clay utensils such as plates, pots, and framed wall pieces are quite common among the locals as well as tourists. 

  • Puppet Craft: Rajasthani puppetry or commonly known as ‘Kaathputli’ is one of the most primitive and vibrant aspects of Indian culture. The traditional performance of puppetry narrates an event from history, myths, or ends with music and speech. They are the storehouse of traditional wisdom, knowledge, and social ethnicities. 

  • Wood Carving Craft: One of the most popular as well as traditional artworks, the ancient craft of wood carvings has still been preserved. Among all other Indian states, Bihar is one of the very few places where wood carving work is done. Products include wooden doors, windows, frames, furniture, utensils, boxes, toys, etc.

  • Pottery and Ceramics: The primitive excavations in Nalanda and Rajgir put forward the evidence of the rich history that Bihar acquainted with clay pottery work. The potters of Bihar beautifully craft earthen utensils and tiles. The products are often adorned with skillful designs, enhancing their charm. Patna is also a creative hub for earthen statutes of several divinities.

  • Brass and Bell Metal Craft: Excellent craftsmanship is noticed in the brass and bell metal crafts of God, Goddesses, utensils, and other utility items curated by the efficient artisans of Bihar.



Picture Source: Arts of India