Goa is the smallest state area wise and is located in the Konkan region of India. According to legends, the land of Goa is said to have been created by Parashurama, the avatar of Lord Vishnu by shooting an arrow from the Sahyadri hill ranges into the Arabian Sea. Being a former Portuguese province, its cultural influence is a blend of Portugal art and tradition along with Hindu, Christian and Islamic influences. Goa is considered a bridge between the East and the West and its rich and unique blend of art, music and architecture has made it a very famous tourist spot frequented by people from all over the world. Goa is often referred to as ‘the Rome of the East’ and the amalgamation of Indian, Portuguese and Western influences is reflected in its beautiful churches, mosques and temples. As it is bounded by Arabian Sea on one side, it is famous for its long coastline and beautiful beaches. The main languages spoken here are Konkani, English and Marathi. A few people even speak Portuguese here. Goa is famous for its many beautiful crafts.
Pottery and Terracotta
These are traditional crafts produced exquisitely by artisans for utility and decorative purposes like figures of Gods and Goddesses, decorative bowls, pen holders, ash trays, animal figures, flower pots etc.
This craft has been passed on from generation to generation and includes candle stands, oil lamps, temple towers and church bells. Utilitarian items are generally made of sheet metal or copper instead of brass.
Wooden craft such as cradles, toys, baby carts and other items used by families on religious occasions are aesthetically crafted by artisans.
Banana or sisal fibre is used to make coasters, ladies bags, purses, wall hangings and other essential accessories used for daily purposes.
This is a major craft industry used to produce flower baskets, fans, pen stands, mats, letter holders and other decorative items.
Crochet and Embroidery
A range of beautiful apparel made from crochet and embroidery is made by artisans making children and ladies garments, table cloth, linen, cushion covers and pillow cases.
Jute is used to make decorative bags, belts, lamp shades, wall hangings, belts, hangers, flower pots etc which form famous souvenirs of Goa.
Sea Shell Craft and Coconut Mask Carving
Being a coastal area with an abundance of coconut, the craftsmen of Goa produce a number of products made from coconut shells and sea shells like masks, lamp shades, chandeliers, curtains, pot hangers, mirror frames, table mats, mirror frames and clocks.
The craftsmen of Goa make soft toys, purses, telephone covers, school bags and curtain holders for decorative and utilitarian purposes.
Elegant candles of assorted colours and shapes from wax and jelly are crafted which are used to decorate homes and during festivals like Christmas and Diwali.
Since different empires like Satavahanas, Mauryas, Rashtrakutas, Chalukyas, Kadambas, Yadavas, Deccan Sultanates and finally Portuguese ruled Goa at various times, it possesses a rich legacy of an amalgamation of various cultures. This rich cultural diversity can be seen in the arts and crafts of Goa.