Dhokra (also spelt Dokra) is non–ferrous metal casting using the lost-wax casting technique. This sort of metal casting has been used in India for over 4,000 years and is still used. One of the earliest known lost wax artefacts is the dancing girl of Mohenjo-daro. The product of dhokra artisans are in great demand in domestic and foreign markets because of primitive simplicity, enchanting folk motifs and forceful form. Dhokra horses, elephants, peacocks, owls, religious images, measuring bowls, and lamp caskets etc., are highly appreciated. The lost wax technique for casting of copper based alloys has also been found in China, Egypt, Malaysia, Nigeria, Central America, and other places.
The process- There are two main processes of lost wax casting: solid casting and hollow casting. While the former is predominant in the south of India the latter is more common in Central and Eastern India. Solid casting does not use a clay core but instead a solid piece of wax to create the mould; hollow casting is the more traditional method and uses the clay core.
Dhokra Craft is made by different communities in India like the Situlias, Ghantaras, Thataries, Ghasis, Bathudis and other professional Dhokra workers. Dhokra Damar tribes are the traditional metal-smiths of West Bengal. Their technique of lost-wax casting is named after their tribe, hence Dhokra metal casting.
The tribe extends from Jharkhand to West Bengal and Odisha; members are distant cousins of the Indian State of Chhattisgarh Dhokras.