Book Cover
In The Shadows
Unknown Craftsmen of Bengal
Paper Type: Art Paper (Matt) | Size: 216 x 178mm
All colour; 62 photographs


In certain villages of West Bengal, the rural economy is driven by rather unusual professions. One cluster of craftsmen churns out wigs, another lights … polo balls … boats … shuttlecocks … jeans … In the Shadows: Unknown Craftsmen of Bengal chronicles the story of six such rural areas. It takes a close look at the lives, craft and future of the people who live here. Following the original process which has been passed down generations, these craftsmen keep alive old family traditions. Their efforts give them a basic livelihood, and in some cases a little more. These crafts or products have given these otherwise obscure villages an identity, a quiet sense of pride even if the material gains are meagre. In the Shadows: Unknown Craftsmen of Bengal celebrates the indomitable spirit of enterprise of our rural craftsmen. It also gently reminds us that each time a polo ball-maker or boat-maker passes away, the craft moves a step closer to extinction.

Payal Mohanka
Payal Mohanka