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Rajsthan & It's Rich Cultural Heritage : The Art of Thewa

The land of Rajasthan is always been known for its colorful and vibrant Art & Crafts. In Rajasthan, one can find numerous crafts products including textiles, jewelry, decorative items, and home furnishings. Rajasthani Craft products add great aesthetic and heritage value to the Indian Arts industry. Rajasthani Artisans have a great eye for detail due to the large no of royal monuments present in the region and the long historical essence present in the area due to great kings and kingdoms.



Thewa jewelry is one such jewelry craft practiced in Pratapgarh, Rajasthan since the royal Mughal era. It is the special art of jewelry making that used delicate gold threads on multicolor glass-based material. It is started some 400 years back by Nathu Ji Soni in 1707, this art is traveling from that time through the Mughal era to the colonial age and now in Contemporary Modern India. This craft got exhibited in the Metropolitan Museum of New York and the Geological London Museum, even it is admired and used by the Queen of England.


Thewa jewelry is a work of art that is a very detailed and intricate process, sometimes it takes months to make a single piece of jewelry with highly skilled artisans. The making includes the beating of gold into thin stripes and those were set on the glass material or mirror objects.

Originally or we can say traditionally mythological and religious stories, as well as characters, were designed on the jewelry, this makes these pieces out of the world. Major themes included are hunting scenes of elephants, deer, and lions, Maharana Pratap riding the horse, and Raas Leela which includes Krishna with Gopi, peacocks, flowers, and royal wedding scenes.




Maharaja Sumant Singh in 1765 granted a jagir to the family of Nathu Lal Soniji and Conferred the title of “Rajsoni” to him. This craft hence passed from generation to generation and their families then called “Rajsonis”. The families of Rajsoni’s has got many awards and recognitions globally. Many families involved in this craft have got UNESCO, National, and State-Level awards since its inception. There are Nine National awards are being given to artisans of jewelry since 1996. In 2015, Shri Mahesh Raj Soni master artisan involved in this craft got Padamshree for his enormous contribution to this field of art and craft. Even this craft is featured in LIMCA book of records, 2011 edition.



Received the award from Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed (President of India) for Excellency in Thewa art.,National Award Shri Ramvilas Rajsoni - 1975 , Received the award from Pratibha Devi Singh Patil (President of India) for Excellency in Thewa art,Limca Book of Records is an annual reference book published in India documenting human and natural world records,All sixteen members of the family have been awarded the National award and State award for Thewa art. Mahesh Rajsoni (Born on May 21, 1954) is a member of this family.
The Chief Artist Mahesh Raj Soni has been awarded Padma Shri Award by the government of India

If we talk about the initial usage of thewa art is to adorn chests and boxes that are gifted as royalty nowadays this craft is also being used to adorn photo frames, mirrors, cufflinks, and other lifestyle accessories. Thewa art is always being the first love of royal families of Mewar and Marwar region of Rajasthan.


Gold prices are reaching heights day by day but this craft is a pocket-friendly option due to the less used gold in it that too in the form of thin wires. Though the amount of gold is minimal but end product gives an impression of a gold-rich heavily ornamented piece. A huge frame made using this frame requires only 5-6 Grams of gold but it gives an illusion of a gold feast to the eyes. The entire procedure is meticulously done in daylight.


This art always speaks to the rich and vibrant heritage of Rajasthan. The Soni’s are transferring this art form of making such luxuries not only to their son but also to their daughters so that this art sustains for a longer period of time. Our future generation should know and wear such crafts in order to get these kinds of crafts on International levels.

 



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