Artisans and Craftsmen of Northern India
The basic aim of the book is to expose the major contributions of artisans and craftsmen in portraying the society in different perspectives. These artisans and craftsmen, were drawn mostly from the shudras, lower caste of the community, suppressed and have-nots section of the society, but were highly talented. The work is also designed to create interest among the reader and scholars alike, to understand the society of the period under reference through the immortal art of these creative people. The artisans such as potters, weavers, carpenters, architects, sculptors, brick-makers, metallurgy and metal workers, leather workers, painters, and the workers engaged in the profession of ivory, glass and mirror, perfume and cosmetic, musical instrument, oil, salt and liquor makers, etc. were the heroes of that time, who not only met the day-to-day requirement of the then society, but also portrayed different aspects of their life, in its true color, through their workmanship. It was the architect who designed and constructed houses to live in, as well as water tank, well and channel, royal building, stupa, temple and fort, bridge, pillar and rock-edict etc., which met the need of the society.
Today, we feel proud of the rich heritage of old Indian art and architecture, credit for which solely goes to the then artisan who crafted immortal creations. However, the invaluable contribution made by the historians in immortalizing their creations, by putting them in black and white, is no less important. It is the historian, whose mighty pen has immortalized not only Ashoka the great, as a king but also the creators of the stupas of his times on equal footings. It is with this aim in view that the present book has been presented to the posterity, in order to pay rich tributes to the creators of our rich cultural heritage.
Unluckly there was no proper institutionalized provision for the education of artisans and craftsmen, so generally the former adopted the occupation of their parents and hereditary skill was enhances as it was transferred from father to son, and generation to generation. Contemporary sources reveal that the social stautus of artisan class was based on the nature and economic conditions of a particular profession.
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