Since the very beginning of time, planet earth was studded with hidden gems; each piece of land blanketing and guarding many treasures; each stone, precious in one way or another; each stream, a source of life. These elements are what helped us evolve. As our ancestors shaped elements into utilities, they in turn shaped the way man lived. The ancient generations were not just precise, but also creative with the process, paving the way for different types of crafts: bamboo handicrafts, houseware, paper crafts, mosaic, stoneware crafts, spinning, and the list goes on.
Over time, our needs and wants changed, and many of the ancient crafts got lost in transition. But, owing to their undeniable appeal and multiple advantages, few stood the test of time, and evolved ever so gracefully with it. One such art that has come a long way is Kansa Kaam! Before we dive into the enticing intricacies of the craft, let’s take a look at the origin of Kansa metal-
Kansa Metal & Craft: The History
Kansa was one of the first metal alloys brought into being. It was first made in the Bronze Age approximately 5000 years ago by the Harappans, the inhabitants of the Indus Valley. The fascinating thing is that it is the very same civilization that brought us the generous gift of Ayurveda, India's ancient healing system. Kansa is considered to be the healing metal of Ayurveda, the Science of Health and Longevity practiced throughout the East.
Deemed as one of the strongest materials at the time, Kansa craft enabled ancient generations to create superior metal tools, sacred statues, housewares, bells and gongs as well as weapons and armor. Needless to say, it played a significant role in revolutionizing the traditional world, and continues to work wonders in the modern age as well.
Kansa Metal: Where It Stands Today
Originating from the times of Mahabharata, this craft has great spiritual significance even today. Considered to be veritably shudh (pure), these rustic kansa utensils are used in important religious ceremonies, such as Havanas and weddings.
Today, Kansa still wears the crown of a powerful metal - a fine product of 78% copper and 22% tin, both heated together up to 700 centigrade to form pure bronze. Being adaptable in nature, it can be brilliantly moulded into handcrafted products with different kinds of patterns and finishes (matt or glossy). Given its healing properties, Kansa metal work is popularly used to eat food and drink water in.
Top 4 Kansa Metal Benefits
1. Great To Eat In:
If you have ever wondered - which metal plate is good for eating food in? Kansa is the answer! It is believed that using bronze plates for eating our food and drinking water on a daily basis enhances our immunity apart from purifying the food, thereby promoting our digestive health. Kansa metal also boosts your immunity system and enhances intellect.
2. Aids With Cooking:
One of the other important benefits of eating in brass utensils is that it enhances your food experiences. Kansa is a metal that best retains heat, thereby keeping the food warmer and its contents richer for a longer period of time.
3. Helps Maintain A Fresh Aura:
Kansa metal utensils benefit your ambience as well. The potential efficacy of its components improves indoor air quality.
4. Highly Durable & Recyclable:
As Kansa is wear and tear-resistant, scratch and wrinkle-resistant, it can be used daily. With proper care, you will find that they are as good as new even after a decade or so. Moreover, it holds value even after maximum damage, as almost 90% of all bell metal alloys can be recycled.
Handcrafted Kansa Products By Ikai Asai
Our healing Kansa metalware is made using a four is to one proportion of copper to tin, a combination prescribed by the ancient Indian medical scholar Charak in Charak Samhita, the bible of ancient Indian medicine and surgery. Moreover, our gifted Kansari Karigars use only handmade tools to create alluring patterns on what is known to be the hardest metal to work on.
Our Kansari Karigars belong to the tropical area of Orissa in India where the naturally hot environment combined with the excessive heat liberated during the crafting process, makes it difficult for them to work post afternoon. Most of our artisans start working much before dawn. Moreover, the entire process from melting Pital to the final embossing is done under one roof, where each member of the tribe specialises in and performs a singular part of the process. Here is a closer look at the same:
Our craftsmen form an alloy of Kasa (Bell Metal) and Pital (Brass) and turn it into a metal ball - all using handmade tools such as Sandasi (pincers), Ruha/Ugha (file), Lihini (scraper), Kunda (lathe), Bhanra (hand-operated drill), Kala Pankha (hand blower), and Shanwashi (tongs).
- This ball of metal is then melted and set into a small thick coin.
- Then using a Hatudi, the coin is hammered and beaten into the desired shape. After that the shape is cast and turned into a Koi (crucible). This entire process is called heat and beat. It is a collaborative activity needing the perfect coordination of at least four Kansari Karigars.
Exclusive Care For Your Kansa Products:
- Clean your vessels immediately after you use them.
- Soak a soft sponge in tepid water, apply mild detergent and gently rub your vessel clean.
- You can also use natural home remedies to clean your metalware, such as gently rubbing it with a mixture of imli (tamarind), lemon and salt.
- Apart from detergent, you can use store-available solutions that are specifically made for cleaning traditional metalware such as Pitambari, Dara or Brasso.
- Make sure to wipe your metalware dry with a clean cloth, this helps to retain its natural gleam.
- Eat excessively pungent or sour food in your metalware.
- Stack the metalware in the sink while washing.
- Use a stainless steel / metal scrubber to clean.
- Use a dishwasher to rinse or wash these products.
- Use a microwave to heat food in these products.
- Store food in the vessels overnight or for a long time.
Indulge in the art of hosting, like never before - bring home aesthetic pieces as well as good health with Ikai Asai. Experience the many bronze utensils benefits with our products, handcrafted to serve you wellness in its purest form. You can browse through our curated collections, select the ones that best fit into your theme, and place your order online.