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THATHERA

The Thatheras are a community of craftsmen from Amritsar, Punjab, who specialize in the traditional technique of producing hand crafted brass, copper and bell metal utensils by hammering metal sheets.

What makes this craft even more speical is that it is the first craft from India to be inscribed in the UNESCO’s Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage. Over the years, due to the onset of evolving culture and aesthetic taste, this craft lost its stature and value.

This craft is not simply a form of livelihood for Thatheras, but a legacy which has been passed on, generation to generation for over 200 years.

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THE HISTORY

The Thatheras of Jandiala Guru are a community of skilled craftsmen who specialize in the traditional technique of hammering brass and copper sheets into traditional utensils.

 

This crafts colony of Jandiala Guru was established during the reign of Maharaja Ranjit Singh (1883) the great 19th century Sikh Monarch, who encouraged skilled crafters from Kashmir to settle in the heart of his kingdom in Punjab. Jandiala Guru became an area of repute due to the skill of the Thatheras.

 

The craft of the Thatheras of Jandiala Guru of Punjab has got the distinction of being inscribed on the Representatives List of the Intangible Culture Heritage, UNESCO in November 2014.

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THE 

PROCESS

The metals used by the Thatheras include copper, brass and certain alloys. Like Kansa, again these are believed to be beneficial for health. The process begins with procuring cooled cakes of metal that are flattened into thin plates and then hammered into curved shapes, creating a variety of objects such as small bowls, rimmed plates, to larger pots for water and milk, huge cooking utensils and other artifacts. ( Don't forget to check out our Thathera Kulfi moulds in our online shop! )

 

Utensils are manually finished by polishing with traditional materials such as sand and tamarind juice. Designs are made by skillfully hammering a series of tiny dents into the heated metal. The process of manufacturing is transmitted orally from father to son. Metalwork is not simply a form of livelihood for Thatheras,
but it defines their family and kinship structure, work ethic and status within the social hierarchy of the town. 

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