Bajali earthen lamp making
Image: Northeast Now

The dennartari (charal para) village, just five kms from headquarter town of Bajali sub-division in Assam’s Barpeta district wears a festive look ahead of Diwali.

The people of the village including students, elderly people are busy from dawn to dusk in giving final touches to the earthen lamps for the festival of lights.

The clay work is a tradition of the locality where 100 families earns their livelihood by selling items like curd pot, flower tub, dhuna pot, including the traditional earthen lamp made from clay.

Especially, the women folk in their homes make a device from a ball bearing fitting in a piece of wood and by one hand it turns and by another hand they make the various items with their magical touch of their finger.

If someone is busy in drying the earthen lamp in sunlight before burning, the others were busy in burning the final product and some were marketing their products in nearby markets.

“We purchase the special clay popularly known as ‘Hira Mati’ from Guwahati at a rate of Rs 500 per truck or Rs 3,000 per tractor,” said a resident of the village.

“Before making any item the soil is specially prepared to a semi-solid state and from the semi-solid stock final product is made,” said one old man of the village.

“We are involved in making earthen pots for last 50 years and in our village the tradition is following from generation to generation and no one hesitate to work with clay,” said Saraswati Paul, a resident of the village who was busy in making earthen lamps.

They expressed their willingness to work with electric device which is very fast and easy to work but cannot afford with their nominal income.

Every family member respects their tradition and in their front side of residence there is a stock of the special clay and burning ‘bhatti’.

They burn the raw product after drying in sunlight with the help of saw dust collected from saw mills.

Munna Paul, a HS student of Bhattadev University Bajali who was also making earthen lamps informed that though they earn meager amount from the products, all the family members work with clay as they have a special attraction for them.

Sasanka Talukdar

Sasanka Talukdar is Northeast Now Correspondent in Pathsala. He can be reached at: sasanka140@gmail.com

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