Deyas: A Product of the Konhaar or Potter Tradition

It’s Divali time once again! One of the most popular thing this year round is the deya or small earthen pots used as lamps to celebrate the festival. But during this period the Konhaar or Potter who mass produces these are never highlighted. The word Konhaar is the Bhojpuri term for the Standard Hindi word Khumbhaar meaning potter. In the Indian tradition, this was a caste or profession that was passed down through families. A tradition that bears evidence in the popular names of families that run pottery shops of the Indo-Caribbean tradition in Suriname, Trinidad and Guyana.

This tradition of the Indo-Caribbean experience is very under represented in the research material that covers Caribbean history. Often we find research on the pottery of the indigenous peoples of the Caribbean, but seldom this pottery tradition that was brought by Indian indentured immigrants is seldom enocuntered. The artist, Mr. Ricahrd Rampersad of T&T, is one of the few individuals who have actually covered the Konhaar tradition in Trinidad & Tobago during his post graduate research at the University of the West Indies in his masters thesis “Memories In Mud: Probing The Material Culture of the Pottery Tradition in Central Trinidad”.  He looked at various families in Chasevillage and Charlieville, Trinidad who still practise this tradition and continue to make a livelihood of it while keeping the tradition alive.

These are among the many Indo-Caribbean traditions that we explore here at Caribbean Hindustani.

Here is an excerpt from the documentary done by Pavan Marhe of the Netherlands on the Indian pottery tradition in Suriname: https://www.facebook.com/983078648560376/videos/677406363192100

Please see:
http://www.rampersadart.com/

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCM3vNzTPWzJcA9hgcEXlMIA

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