In the past, collectors have been fascinated with sculptures of pure white Ivory without knowing the damage it caused to our eco-system. Luckily governments of a number of nations have banned Ivory trade altogether.
Craftsmen from eastern India had been crafting beautiful items of SholaPith (lookaloikes of Ivory) since ages. It is only recently that Sholapith items have got international recognition for its beauty, eco-friendliness and superb craftsmanship. Shola pith is a milky-white sponge-wood that is carved into delicate and beautiful objects of art only in a few states of India. Shola is a plant, growing in marshy waterlogged areas of eastern Indian States commonly referred to as eastern marshy Gangetic plains. It is unbelievable that this plant grows nowhere else in the world. The biological name of Shola is Aeschynomene Indica and it is an herbaceous plant. The Sholapith is the cortex or core of this plant.
The finest examples of craftsmanship are seen on images of gods and goddesses on festivals, especially the massive decorative backdrops made for “Durga-Puja” celebrations. Thousands of craftsmen spend months working on each piece and every details is meticulously worked out.The color of Shola is pure white and beautiful IVORY look alike sculptures have started decorating Western homes in Europe and America very recently. The shola crafts have flowery designs, decorative head-wears of gods and goddesses, garlands etc. You also find exquisite figurines like faces of gods and goddesses, elephants, peacock-boats, palanquins, wall hangings and a number of home decorations made of sholapith.
Needless to say, the items are appealing, they are completely natural and the beautiful craftsmanship brings a pure white ethnic aura at your home.
Where to find these fine Pith Sculptures
Ethnocraft: http://www.ethnocraft.com has some of these fine Sholapith items you could easily order over the web.