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Arts and Crafts
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Art Clubs, Art Galleries & Studios

The Land of Artistes & Craftsmen

Goa is a land of crafts and craftsmen, where aesthetic quality finds a natural expression. Goa has a rich and magnificent tradition of the classical arts. Over the years, Goans have excelled in poetry, music and the fine arts.

The exquisitely carved rosewood and teak furniture, the terracotta figurines, the classic brass items and the unique gold jewellery designs all speak of an age still valuable in this technology obsessed world.

The folk paintings of Goa have been traced to different places from ancient temples, churches and palatial manors to humble households. They mostly depict episodes from the epics - the Mahabharata and the Ramayana and the Puranas and also scenes from the New Testament.

During the Portuguese colonisation, local craftsmen played a major role in the development of the exquisite furnishings and decorations used in residential houses, churches and chapels. This art can still be seen the Christian Art Museum at Old Goa.

Goans have contributed greatly to the world of music. Many famous names on the Indian music scene originate from Goa. Famous singers such as Lata Mangueshkar and Kishori Amonkar in the classical variety and Remo Fernandes in pop music, are from Goa.
Konkani literature has produced many great names such as Bakibab Borkar who have contributed to the development of Konkani as a national language with some superlative writing.

Local craftsmen in Goa produce a wide variety of crafts ranging from terracotta pottery and figures to superb brass lamps and decorative items.

Crafts of Goa Goa is one of enriched states of India in the field of creativity in arts and crafts.  Many artistic crafts that have attained commercial proportions shows that creativity is in its sand itself.  The art and craft is the product of the aesthetic blend of Portuguese and Indian cultures. The crafts are intricately beautiful; they capture the attentions not only of the tourists but also the locals. These crafts can be a Generally, these items are crafted by professional artisans in their ethnic ambience, and also by artisans working at the arts and crafts complex run by the government. They are sold through various handicraft emporia and all major tourist spots.

Types of Handicrafts: The major craft forms include bamboo craft, woodcarving, brass metals, seashell craft, Papier-Mâché, and wooden lacquer ware. Other important crafts of the state include Jute Macramé, Fabric Collage, Plaster of Paris, Crochet and embroidery, fiber and Batik prints, fiber stone carving, Coconut shell carving, metal embossing, silver and imitation jewellery, cotton dolls, soft toys, woollen tapestry, and artistic weaving.

Pottery & Terracotta:  These are traditional crafts with utility-cum-decorative items produced by the potters with artistic perfection and realistic finish. The items produced with this craft include flower garden pots, bowls with floral designs, figures of Saints, Gods' and Goddesses' and animals, ashtrays and penholders, etc.

Brass Metal ware: While utensils of utility are made of sheet metal (copper), brass metal casting is a craft passed on from one generation to another practiced on hereditary basis. The items produced include oil lamps in various designs, candle stands, temple towers, church bells, ashtrays, etc.


Wooden Laquerware/ Wood Turning: Cradles, baby carts, toys, corner stands, etc. are some of the most exquisite items produced in Goan woodcraft include which are used mostly by Hindu families on religious occasions.

Crochet & Embroidery: Works such as tablecloths, children and ladies garments, pillow and cushion covers, linen form a breathtaking apparel range.

Bamboo Craft: It is considered to be one of the major craft industries of Goa. The list of popular Bamboo products includes flower baskets, mats, and letter-holders, pen stands, fans and other decorative items.

Fibre Craft: Shopping bags, ladies purses, coasters and wall hangings, and other essential accessory items used in daily purposes are made of banana or sisal fibre and the major fibre craft centre is situated in Corlim.

Jute Macramé Craft: Jute craft is known to be one of the most unique crafts of India and items such as decorative bags, belts, wall hangings, lamp shades, flower pots, hangers, etc are popular Goan souvenirs.

Coconut Mask Carving & Sea Shell Craft: Mask carving has got a whole new look in Goa as it is done on coconut shells. Sea shell craft produces ashtrays, lamp shades, coasters, chandeliers, curtains, pot hangers, table mats, clocks, mirror frame, etc.

Handicraft Centers

Bamboo craft, pottery and woodwork constitute the major cottage industries of Goa in terms of employment. Bamboo work is done maximum in Bardez, Bicholim, Pernem and Sattari. There are about 500 units employing over 1,000 craftsmen. Saleete, Bicholim, Ponda, Pernem and Sattari are centres of woodwork employing about 200 craftsmen at over 100 units. 
Talking of original designs, it should be interesting to visit Kumbhar Pottery studio at Bicholim that has some very interesting pieces. The eleven-year-old studio experiments with clay and earth to combine the many aesthetic sensibilities that Goa has developed over the years. One finds distinctive Portuguese influence merged with Hindu traditional art resulting into beautiful objects and that is where Goan pottery stands out from the rest. Pottery Unita are at Bardez, Bicholim, Canacona, and Sattari employing 150 craftsmen.

Libraries & Galleries

The Library

The Academy library has a treasure of books on Indian and Western art and culture, besides books on aesthetics, criticism, biographies of great personalities in the field of art and films on art and culture. In addition, terracotta items and models of the contemporary artists have enriched the library.

The Gallery

The Art Gallery is a stupendous success in showcasing the gems of Goan art including various paintings of different media prepared during the annual artist's camp organized by the Academy. The library facility is extended to the staff and students of the Academy, scholars, research workers, art lovers, critics and artists from all over India and outside.

Main Centers For Development

The Goa Handicrafts, Rural & Small Scale Industries Development Corporation Limited (GHRSSIDC), a Government of Goa Undertaking, set up in 1980 performs the role of encouraging, promoting and marketing the myriad of Goan handicrafts by making these items available through its various outlets.
Contact Address:
Crafts Complex,
Neugi Nagar, Rua De Ourem,
Panaji, Goa - 403001.

Main Centers For Shopping

Goa's Handicrafts Emporia: -
Bicholim Pottery Production Centre, D 2/7, Industrial Estate, Bicholim - 403 504.
Calangute Handicrafts Emporium, Tourist Hostel, Calangute - 403 516.
Mapusa Handicrafts Emporium, Tourist Hostel, Mapusa - 403 507.
Margao Handicrafts Emporium, Tourist Hostel, Margao - 403 601.
Panaji Handicrafts Emporium, Tourist Hostel, Panaji - 403 301
Handicrafts Emporium, Craft Complex, Neugi Nagar, Rua de Ourem, Panaji - 403 301.
Handicrafts Emporium, Interstate Bus Terminus, Kadamba Bus Stand, Panaji - 403 301.
Vasco Da Gama Handicrafts Emporium, Goa Airport, Dabolim, Vasco -  403 801.
Handicrafts Emporium, Tourist Hostel, Swatantra Path, Vasco Da Gama - 403 802.

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