One Day on Earth

The World's Story is Yours to Tell

A 10.10.10 video by Sanjay Kanungo

History of excellence

Stone carving, a traditional craft, known as early as the prehistoric period, has been practiced for centuries in Orissa, and has reached the highest levels of excellence due to the disciplined practice of generations.

A very rich tradition

Nested on the east coast of India, the State of Orissa (officially spelled Odisha) is famous for its art and architecture. For many centuries, the Orissan sculptors expressed their creativity in numerous stunning images, inspired both by religion and nature.

Watch The Stone Poets

These artists’ hands can turn out everything: nayika and mithuna figures, yakshas and yakhis (the male and female deities associated with ancient fertility cults), holy musicians, horses, elephants, and soldiers as well as sculptures depicting everyday’s themes, like hunting, dancing, and family life.

Art for the modern times

The experienced artisans of Orissa are comfortable carving any type of stone that India has to offer. Using tools of different shapes and sizes such as hammers and chisels, (here they call them 'Muna,' 'Patili,' 'Martual,' 'Thuk-Thuki' and 'Nihana') they can easily shape anything from the soft white soapstone, known as Khadipathara to the hardest of all black granite, known as Mugunipathara.

One can see the concentration on their face, as they envision the figure that will burst out of the stone, moving their hands with ease and handling their tools with craft. This is commercial art for tourists and wealthy locals - and yet it repeats the eternal miracle of a rock transforming from a shapeless block into a gracious deity, archer, or female dancer.

This is one of many stories included in the "One Day on Earth" feature film. Experience the film by being part of the world’s first Global Screening on April 22nd, Earth Day. Click here to learn more.

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Comment by Samina Naz on March 5, 2012 at 1:42pm

wonderful work!

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