Monday, July 5, 2010


Conch shells are used in two significant ways in Bengali tradition. One is in the form of the bangles worn by married women, and the other is using the whole shell to blow into it, during religious ceremonies. The conch shell bangles suggest the marital status of a woman. According to Hindu custom, the bride`s first pair of conch shell bangles must have a rim of red lac. Crafting bangles, ornaments and ritual objects from conch shell is unique too . The craftsmen belong to the Sankhakar community. The blowing sells are usually plain but nowadays are engraved with ornamental patterns or an episode from an epic. The shell is hard and hence it is difficult to cut it. The carving on the shell is done with the help of various files. A grinding machine removes the rough outer surface of the shell, which is then filed, engraved and polished into the desired shape. Conch shell is procured from Kolkata, where it comes from the beaches of Tamil Nadu.
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