Natungram is the hub of wooden doll makers also known as 'Sutradhars' (narrator or storyteller). Carved out of a single piece of wood, these dolls from ancient folklore and mythology are characterised by their vibrant colours and distinctive ethnic style. The owl, considered auspicious as the escort of the goddess of prosperity, Lakshmi, made in Natungram, enjoys an iconic status among Bengal's handicrafts.
Government of West Bengal's Department of Micro Small and Medium Enterprises & Textiles, in association with UNESCO, has developed Natungram as one of the Rural Craft Hubs of the state. WBKVIB has developed a Folk Art Centre with lodging facilities equipped with all basic amenities.
The artists collective will celebrate the 6th edition of their annual festival 'Wooden Doll Festival' on January 8 to 10, 2021.
Visitors at Natungram can witness the artists at work, explore the Folk Art Centre to learn about the craft and its technique and learn the stories behind it.
One can enjoy stay at the Folk Art Centre with well furnished lodging facilities and all basic amenities for guests. There are hotels in Katwa town too.
The double storied Resource Centre at Natungram has four rooms - two on the ground floor and two on the first floor. Each room can accommodate four persons. Guests can relish the traditional Indian cuisine at the artists' places. The centre also houses a saw mill and a workshop where the crafts men can be seen working. Craftsmen assemble here to work daily and the tourists can interact, watch them work, and can also make purchases.
Cut from a single piece of wood and characterised by their trademark ethnic designs and vibrant colours, the dolls of Natungram are the personification of the rural art of Bengal. There are about 60 families pursuing this traditional art form, where the men do the carving and chiseling while the women do the painting. While the village is known for its unique Owls, their Radha-Krishna and King-Queen dolls are also highly sought after.
Every year the artists of Natungram celebrate their tradition through a village fair. This year the 'Wooden Doll Festival' will take place from January 8 to 10, 2021. One can enjoy the colourful folk festival at the time of village fair. Tourists may also visit the place throughout the year to explore process of carving the wooden dolls.