Shanka (White Conch Shell ) Handicrafts - An auspicious art
white conch or Shanka handicraft is one of the most elegant arts practiced in various villages of West Bengal. Not only conch shell crafts are beautiful and delicate, but also as per Hindu & Buddhist mythology, they are considered to be extremely auspicious.
In this art form, beautiful images are crafted on natural shells, obtained from the ocean bed. The craftsmen known as “Shankhari” or “Sankhakar” belong to a very ancient community called “Nabasakha“. Crafting on conch shells is very native to West Bengal. The newly married women are gifted shanka bangles as a holy marital sign. The engravings on the conch shell reflect the social, mythological & historical background of Bengal. While some artists draw stories of Lord Shiva or Lord Krishna, on the other hand, Bablu Nandi of Bankura got a national award for giving life to the whole Kurukshetra’s war (an entire episode of epic Mahabharata) on an 11-inch conch shell.
It takes at least two to three months to deliver one delicate art piece. There are more than twenty thousand Shankhari in Bengal. After almost 70 years of being in practice they are struggling to make money from conch shell handicrafts, because the younger generation does not consider it fashionable to wear them. The quality of raw conches is not as good as it was two decades back, machine-made plastic bangles are flooding the market.
Conch belongs to the Mollusca species called ‘Shankham’ in Sanskrit. The word is derived from ‘shum’ meaning something good and ‘kham’ denoting water.
Shanka handicrafts are as pure as the sound of Panchajanya. In this auspicious festive season bring goodness to your household by gifting your mother or wife a pair of shanka. Your one “buy now” click can bring lunch to one poor Nadia family.
Depending upon the product the may a little weight or sometimes a little on the heavy side
Cleaning with small wet clean cloth once in a while would be enough.
Thank you for asking this question. All handicrafts are packed very carefully before delivery. Shanka handicrafts are not that fragile so if handed with care there’s nothing to worry about.
A welly crafted Shanka handicraft is not fragile
It’s completely safe. But it never bad to be a little careful.
According to me there should be a particular occasion to celebrate art. But according to Hindu cultures it is good luck to buy Shanka during wedding season or puja times.
Yes Shanka statues are one of the best decor piece out there.
No.(Depends upon the product)
Shanka handicrafts mostly come in ivory but sometimes depending upon the seashells they can be off white or a o little on brownish side.
Depending upon the weight can vary. But the are not hard to lift