In Northern India you can find a group of metal artisans, known locally as the Thatheras. They are a native community whose roots go back to hundreds of years. The Thatheras are believed to be the descendants of the ancient Hindu dynasty of Haihay kings.  They moved from Rajasthan in the 1800s and came to live in Rewari, located in the small north Indian state of Haryan. In 2014, the craft of the Thathera community of Jandiala Guru were included in UNESCO’s List of Intangible Cultural Heritage.

These metal artisans have been creating the finest brass and copperware using techniques that were passed down for centuries by their ancestors. Their special process begins by procuring cooled cakes of metal which are flattened into thin plates and then hammered into curved shapes creating the required small bowls, rimmed plates, to larger pots for water and milk, huge cooking vessels among others. Careful temperature control is required when heating the plates while hammering and curving them into different shapes. This temperature control is achieved by using tiny wood-fired stoves. Utensils are manually finished by polishing with traditional materials such as sand and tamarind juice.

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