A Bronze Sculptor from Adakkaputhur

May 01, 2015 | Vol. 7, Issue 3
362 Views | 2 Comments

Surviving Traditions of River Nila-4: There are many folk communities, traditional artists and artisans who have been living on the shores of  River Nila (Bharathapuzha) since centuries. As part of the series of articles, In this issue we are introducing Hari Govindan from Adakkaputhur (Kerala, India), who chartered a path of his own in the bronze sculpturing. Adakkaputhur a laid back village near Cherpulassery in Palakkad district is famous for its bronze tradition and he is the son of Late Balan Moosari, who invented the metal mirrors of Adakkaputhur, which was featured in Jan-Feb 2015 issue of Welcome Kerala .

Adakkaputhur, near Cherpulassery in Palakkad district (Kerala, India) is famous for its bronze tradition and Balan Moosari who pioneered this craft form of metal mirror work some 30 years back.  Harigovindan, son of Balan moosari is exceptionally artistic and through his hard work and willpower has established himself as a reputed bronze sculptor, while his bother Krishnakumar is continuing the craft of making metal mirrors.

Unlike his younger brother Krishnakumar, who is involved only in the making of metal mirrors, Hari Govindan, right from his childhood was keen on experimenting with sculpturing. He said “During my teenage days, during day time he needed to assist father in his smithy. But nights are my own. I simply created things on mud and wax”. It was then that the late Kunnatthumana Raman Nambuthiri, who first told him – why you don't become a sculptor and took him to the famous sculptor Varikkassery Krishnan Nambithuri, who died four years back at the age of 78.

The sculptor

Krishnan Nambithuri was on the lookout for an assistant for casting his sculptures and Raman Nambuthiri introduced Hari's father to him. Naturally Hari Govindan also got involved in the activity sculpting a few bronze sculptures for him. Then he became a full time assistant for Krishnan Nambuthiri and from there Hari Govindan learned many technical and aesthetical lessons about sculptures.

Through Krishnan Nambuthiri he clinched an assignment to cast the statue of Hermann Gmeiner from Austria, who founded the international social development organisation SOS village in 1949. In the next four years, he made over 40 plus replicas of the statue, for the same organisation, to mount it in their institutions, all over the world.

When he returned to his village, very soon he realised that life as a sculptor was not that easy. In the beginning he used to work on any type of sculpture or bronze work, irrespective of remuneration. Slowly he established himself as a sculptor. Harigovindan, 41 years of age, now resides with his wife and children in his house which was constructed ten years back.

Now he has a busy schedule creating sculptures and temple idols. Generally bronze is the medium, but he also creates sculptures in gold or silver. All these are made in the traditional furnace in traditional wax method.  Even people from outside India approach him for his services. Recently he made full figurine of the Christian missionary St.Alphonsamma, for Singapore and an idol of Lord Dhanwanthari, the Lord of Ayurveda for Thailand.

About the market he said “here I am getting the orders directly.  But mostly merchandisers play the role of mediator. This has spoiled the traditional craftsmen because the major share of the profit is taken by the merchandiser and so the smithy's are forced to work under very low profit, naturally they can't spent time to do anything creative on their work. Ultimately the consumer also is forced to buy just what is available in the market”.

Location/access: Adakkaputhur is near to River Thootha, the tributary of River Nila. Harigovindan's house is situated about 1.5km from Adakkaputhur Junction, which is on Cherpulassery-Palakkd Road, 5km from Cherpulassery and 40km from Palakkad town.(Kerala, India)

For more info: welcomekeralamagazine@gmail.com

Share This Story, Choose Your Platform!

Comments

Very nice info and straight to the point. I am not sure if this is in fact the best place to ask but do you folks have any ideea where to employ some professional writers? Thanks in advance :)

I have read some just right stuff here. Certainly worth bookmarking for revisiting. I surprise how a lot attempt you set to create any such excellent informative web site. gafas de sol revo

Add new comment

Related Articles

ARTICLE - CRAFT
The making of Chenda
Mar 01, 2015

Surviving Traditions of River Nila-3: There are many folk communities, traditional artists and artisans who have been living on the shores of  River Nila (Bharathapuzha) since centuries. As part of the series of articles, this issue features a traditional artisan’s family from Lakkidi in Palakkad district (Kerala, India) who makes the drums of Kerala - Chenda, Thimila, Edakka, Thudi etc.

More

ARTICLE - CULTURE
River Nila
Oct 01, 2014

As everywhere in the world, river systems have played an important role in shaping the social, historical and cultural heritage of Kerala. Among the 44 rivers of the state, River Nila, otherwise known as Bharathapuzha has a unique dimension in the socio-cultural and ecological realm of Kerala. It is the only river of Kerala that passes across the amazing land mass of Western Ghats through the Palakkad Gap.

More

ARTICLE - CRAFT
Grass Mats of Killimangalam
Oct 01, 2014

Bharathapuzha, poetically known as River Nila has played a key role in the development of civilisation and history of Kerala. There are many folk communities, traditional artists and artisans who have been living on the shores of River Nila since centuries. Some of them are still practicing their skills and crafts. From this issue onwards Welcome Kerala will feature such traditions and folklore in a series. The grass mats of Killimangalam (Thrissur Dt, Kerala, India) featured here is one such tradition which requires immediate attention.This is the first article in the series-Surviving Traditions of River Nila.

 

 

More

ARTICLE - CRAFT
Krishnakumar with bronze mirror
Jan 01, 2015

Surviving Traditions of River Nila-2 : There are many folk communities, traditional artists and artisans who have been living on the shores of River Nila (Bharathapuzha) since centuries. As part of the series of articles, in this issue we are featuring a traditional bronze smith from Adakkaputhur, near Cherpulassery in Palakkad district (Kerala, India) who cast mirrors in bronze. Krishnakumar is the one who creates metal mirrors in bronze, a method invented by his father, late Balan Moosari, some 30 years before.

More