Indian art and craft are very unique styles in the world. Each state of this country has a collection of unique and serene crafts and arts that marvel all those who watch and enjoy them. Andhra Pradesh is no lower in this standard. It hosts a lot of arts and crafts in its culture, tradition and daily activities. Here are some of the elements that you ought to enjoy and buy a few masterpieces.
Kondapalli wood dolls are very adorable and realistic. The figure’s face would be very natural that you can find almost all kinds of expressions. Kondapalli is a small village near Vijayawada. Soft Poniki is used for making these toys. Starting from animals to deities, you can find a lot of wooden structures in this village.
The popularity of this work is well spread around the country. The reason for this beauty is the flexibility of the wood. The wood is marinated to make it flexible enough to carve. Goat hair brushes, tamarind seed gum, lime gum and clay are used in the process. The process of making a small doll would take a lot of time. You ought to buy a few as mementos.
Palakollu and Narsapur are two main villages in West Godavari district. Here crocheted laced work is very famous. You can find wall hangings, covers, table mats, sheets and curtains made out of this work material. There would be many crocheting classes that happen from time to time. You can find lace works in vibrant colours and various shaped. There are also dresses available in this material. This craft was brought to this land by Scottish people. Today more than a lakh of people are making this as their source of living. Lace work of Andhra Pradesh is an excellent craft work that you ought to learn. Or, at least own a few materials.
Kuchipudi is the traditional dance of this state. Kuchelapuri is a small village in Andhra Pradesh. In 300 BC or earlier, this art form started as a way for living for many. It was performed by male Brahmins. Just like any other Indian dances, it is a mixture of expression and music. Thalam, Violin, Surpeti, Tanpura and many other musical instruments would be played while dancing. It is a very vivid and elegant dance form to watch. Dancers sometime deliver certain dialogues during the dance too. Usually Indian mythological stories would be showcased with this dance form.
One of the type of Kuchipudi is called Tarangam. In this form, the dancers would perform all the steps while stands on edges of a small brass plate. In another form, they have to place a pot filled with water till its brim on their head and dance without spilling it. It would be stunning and sometimes thrilling to watch them dance more elegant moves with stunning properties in hand. There are many authorized universities and small schools where you can learn this dance form from scratch.
This is one of the many types of painting that you can find in this country. What make this painting rare and unique is the materials they use in making these paintings. The brush used in this painting is a quill. The colours are made from vegetables. In machilipatnam, you can find printed wood blocks that are very common souvenirs. This painting started in 10th century when there was a flourishing trade between India and Persia. This painting was taught by Persian traders. This painting is done through 12 stages. It takes a lot of time and patience to complete. Cloths, hangings, covers and many other materials can be decorated with this painting. This piece of art is something that you ought to take back with you when you leave Andhra Pradesh.
It is a form of puppet show dance. Buta Bommalu can be roughly translated as basket puppets. The puppets are made out of bamboo stripes which are commonly used for making baskets. The puppets are made into a large basket like structure into with the performers can get in. It would be hollow inside. The dancers enter this puppet basket and start dancing as per the music. Usually the puppet basket would be about eight feet in height and three feet in radius. It is not an easy task to dance with this puppet around them. The puppet figure is connected with the dancer through a small string that is tied around the shoulder and waist of the dancer. You can find this form of dancing during any religious festivals. Most of the figures resemble a deity and they usually showcase some religious story through these puppet shows. If you are in West Godavari or East Godavari district during any festival time, you ought to watch this dance form.
This is a traditional tribe dance of this state. There are a lot of folk dances like Dhamal, Dappu, Mathuri, Gobbi and many others. Lambadi is the most common and popular one of all. Lambadi tribes live a nomadic life. They roam throughout the state and settle in a place for a few days, perform this dance, earn some money and move to another place. The dancers would dress with various jewellery and other properties and dance to showcase common tasks that people perform like a farmer harvesting, planting crops and so on. One important aspect of this dance is that it is danced only by women. During festivals, these dancers are found commonly in the streets. The dance does not have a very high recognizing like Kuchipudi or others, but, it is very interesting and appealing to watch and enjoy.
Bidri is an antique metal work. Bidriware is a very common item in the 14th century. Bidar was a small town where these metal works were made in the ancient Andhra Pradesh. It is said that sultans of Andra Pradesh invited many craftsmen from Iran to make these works for royal palaces and other monuments.
This style of craft is a mixture of Indian, Persian, Iranian and many other related styled. This metal work is made by Zinc mixed with a little amount of copper. After moulding the metal, the engravings are done with silver wire and thin silver sheets. The surface becomes very black after it is oxidized and thus Bidriware is formed.
This metal work takes a lot of time, patience and practice to perform. You can watch the artists make this work from scratch. The most common item that tourists prefer is the elephant statue made out of this metal work. There are a lot of other items that are decorated with this crafts like plate, bases, trays, boxes and others.
You can find a lot of masterpieces of Bidriware in Hyderabad. this is a sophisticated item that you should possess as a memento of your visit to this state.
This is a type of ancient painting in which herbs and minerals are used as dye. The most common colour used in this painting is the golden colour which is made from mixture of gums and herbs. You can find a lot of epic stories explained by these paintings. You can find a lot of elegant craftsmen of this style of painting in Hyderabad. This painting was first introduced to Mughals by traders who got attracted by its beauty and promoted this painting by brining many craftsmen to the city.
Kolattam is the dance of stick. The dance starts with the dancers in a large circle and they split into two concentric circles. The dancers use a stick which is decorated with colours as their main property. There are about 50 different type of Kolattam and each one is different, elegant and appealing. The dancers in the inner circle play music while the ones in the outer dance according to it. This is a must watch folk dance of this state. There are different verses of this dance prevailing today in this state.
This is a type of dance that was originated for the pure Kuchipudi. In this, the most common dance is the love fight between Krishna and his wives. It is a dance style that was created by yogis in 17th century. This is one of the very few traditional dances that are performed by both the genders. This style of dance is usually mono-play where the main character recites the story while performing appropriate steps. A lot of different musical instruments are used during this dance style. All the ornaments wore by the dancers are made of wood to be lightweight for the dancers to carry them around while dancing.
Veeranatyam can be translated as the dance of brave. According to myth, Lord Shiva got furious after his wife as his wife humiliated him. In this anger, he removed his hair dressing and started dancing furiously. It is said that this dance destroyed the place where he was humiliated. Thus, this dance is a dance of anger. The costumes, movements, colours and music represents anger. This dance is traditionally performed on the banks of the river Godavari. It is also performed to honour Lord Shiva. Thus, it is an important form of art that you can enjoy during any festival related to Lord Shiva like Mahashivaratri.
This dance is usually performed by man. The first stage of dance starts with the dancers holding a plate on which burning camphor is placed. They carry this plate on their hands and dance till the fire burns out. In the next stage, the dancer dances with a large pole with bells attached to it. The next stage of dance starts with dancers dancing with spears and tridents in their arms, elbows and mouth.
This was the form of entertainment before media was born. Three or more people join together to recite a story with rhythm and small songs. A stringed instrument in the form of bow is used to make sounds while reciting the story. The main story teller recites the story while the others add background effects and echo effects to the story. Sometimes the side tellers make jokes and also dance to increase the appeal of the show.