Loha Shilpa or wrought iron crafts of Kondagaon, Chhattisgarh.
It was in the month of January 2020( just a couple of months prior to the declaration of lock down for the pandemic covid-19) , I had been to the village Kadaichepda ( p.o: palari) of Kondagaon district of Chhattisgarh, which is very famous for its exquisite iron crafts. While on my way to Raipur from Jagdalpur, I made a stopover at the village Kadaichepda. That was a craft village of traditional Indian wrought iron crafts, otherwise known as ‘Loha Shilpa'( iron crafts) .
Wrought iron is utilized to create dim crude types of metal puppets or antiques and is one more type of specialty craft in Chhattisgarh.The craftsmanship began from the ironsmith community of the area that used to make cultivating and hunting tools for maria clans. It has been seen over a span of the last three or four decades, this particular specialty craft has delightfully advanced into a creative handicraft thus has generated a natural demand for these crafts around the world. Wrought iron work is basically amassed in Bastar locale of Chattisgarh with Gunagaon ,Kondagaon and Umargaon being the primary places.
The unrefined substance being utilised for this specialty craft is almost always reused iron pieces. People often get confused between wrought iron and cast iron. Here is the difference. Wrought Iron will be iron that has been warmed and afterward worked with instruments. Cast Iron will be iron that has been liquefied, filled a shape, and permitted to harden. The essential differentiation between cast iron and wrought iron is by the way they are delivered. Here the specialty crafts are made of wrought iron, for example scrap iron pieces have been warmed and beaten numerous times to give it an assigned shape.So, from an exacting perspective, the expression “wrought iron” signifies “worked iron.”
This wrought iron specialty craft making skill and the expertise has been developed over generations in the Kondagaon area. A few tribal clans are specialists in making wrought iron specialty crafts and a significant number of them belong to ‘Gondi’ and ‘Maria’ tribes.
Dr. Manoj Mishra