The clay dolls and toys occupy an vital place in clay craft of India, particularly West Bengal. This craft can be grouped under numerous separate categories.
The sole purpose of children is to use these clay dolls as a play thing. These mostly reflect the condition of human daily life.
These activists of clay dolls live in the rural areas. They try to convey their message through these art works. They also make designs of thing they use or see in everyday life. They make designs of birds, beasts, gods, goddesses and even fruits.
The Clay doll making processes, in most cases, involve the following:
- Moulding (giving shape)
- Drying over the fire
- Painting with water colour
- Put a Coat of Varnish
The beauty of these clay dolls lies in their graceful, vigorous form and simplicity in design. These dolls are greatly in demand for interior decoration. The clay elephants, clay horses have become objects of decoration.
Manasa Ghat is worshipped in Rarh region of Bengal. It is being held as representation of Manasa, the snake goddess. The potter develops his art as per the need of the people. They also satisfy the religious need of the people.
Various images of Hindu God and Goddesses are traditionally made of clay.
Fired clay images of household deities are placed inside every Hindu home for daily worship.
On ceremonial occasions like Durga Puja, Kali puja, Laxmi puja, and the like, large sized clay images of deities are worshipped in specially decorated pandals and are immersed in water after the ceremony is over.
Some clay dolls and toys resemble a faithful copy of the nature. The minutest details of the nature are cleverly displayed on these dools. Fruits, fishes, insects, animals, birds etc. and, of course, the images of gods and goddesses are some of their distinctive products.
The sometimes reproduce their life on these clay works. The designs includes a farmer along with a cow, agricultural scene, etc.