Bell Metal Artisans: Keepers of an Ancient Art Form
Welcome to the world of traditional bell metal craft in Payyanur, a small town located in Kannur, India. This craft has been passed down through generations and is a symbol of how traditional art forms are sustained through local practices and demand. In this travel blog, we will explore the fascinating process of bell metal crafting and how it has become an integral part of the town's cultural heritage.
The Sri Subramanya Swami Temple in Payyanur serves as the focal point for the bell metal craft. The process is a true testament to the devotion and hard work of the local craftsmen. The furnace, which is a permanent kiln, is made by the craftsmen themselves and is fueled by cow dung cakes, dried coconut husks, and coal. The metal is heated to a temperature of around 1100 degrees Celsius and is then poured into the conical openings of the mold. This process requires a carefully coordinated group effort and is performed with the simplest tools.
The finished product is a shining metal object, which is polished by vigorously rubbing it until it achieves a remarkable shine akin to old gold. This is a unique feature of bell metal and is what sets it apart from other metal crafts. The process of bell metal work is skill-intensive and is considered a sacred art by the craftsmen, who see themselves as descendants of the divine architect, Vishwakarma.
Payyanur is not just known for its bell metal craft but also for its rich history and ancient dance forms like Theyyam. The town is a treasure trove of intangible cultural heritage and is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in traditional crafts and the preservation of cultural heritage.
In conclusion, the bell metal craft of Payyanur is a testament to the devotion and hard work of the local craftsmen, and is a shining example of how traditional art forms are sustained through local practices and demand. We hope that this travel blog has given you a glimpse into the fascinating world of bell metal craft and the rich cultural heritage of Payyanur.