Shola

Shola (Sola pith) or the Indian cork is a milky-white sponge-wood which is carved into delicate and beautiful objects of art. Sola plant grows in the marshy waterlogged areas of West Bengal, Assam and in the eastern marshy Gangetic plains. Artisans use it to make artefacts used for decoration, especially the traditional ornate headgear of bridegroom in Bengal. The finest of this craftsmanship can be seen on the statues of gods and goddesses during festivals, especially the massive decorative backdrop used for the Durga Puja. The craft is mainly practised in the districts of Burdwan, Murshidabad, Birbhum, Nadia and Hooghly.

The people engaged as sholapith craftsmen are known as Malakars, meaning garland makers. Biswa Bangla has added new dimensions to the Sholapith’ craft with sculptures of the famous personalities of Bengal.