Under the fourteen series of its online exhibition by Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Manav Sangrahalaya (IGRMS), on Thursday introduced an exhibition of Pottery Tradition of Ladakh. IGRMS has been presented online with its basic information and photographs and videos.
About this exhibition, Praveen Kumar Mishra, Director, IGRMS said that, In Ladakh, Likir is the only village where pottery making tradition is still practised from ancient times. It is located about 52 km from Leh, on Leh-Srinagar highway. According to the locals, King Dragspa Bumdle (14th century CE) assigned pottery making to this village. At that time, earthen wares were used on a large scale. Thus, the entire village was engaged in pottery making for royal as well as general public usages.
The potters were well known in entire Ladakh for their craftsmanship, and pots were supplied to distant places.
In this regard P Anuradha told that the raw material has been collected from village Saspol and Basgo, where it is available in patches.
The clay is prepared after removing all the impurities. The mixture of jasa (white clay) and pema (sandy clay) in 2:1 ratio with water is kneaded properly. Very simple tools like wooden beater, burnt clay anvil, brush made of local grass spoto, varieties of spatula, goat skin for polishing, mould and a turn disk are used for making pottery. Score- is a turn disk, used for shaping the pot. The upper part is made of terracotta with an iron pivot fixed on its bottom and the lower part which is embedded in ground made of wood called patak. It is hand rotated and filled with loose sand or ash, when shaping the vessel. Poo is a baked clay mould on which the pots are shaped.
It is made of different sizes according to the potter’s requirement. Poo is firmly fixed on it, in an inverted position, so that its open mouth is buried in the ash to hold it properly and prevent from sagging or deviating from the centre. They have their own way to check the centre point of the poo with the help of middle figure. The clay lump is flattened by an anvil on the terracotta mould which is fixed at the top surface of revolving disk. When it takes a shape, it is taken out to dry a little.
After that, it has been again placed on the mould on an inverted position.