Mysore inlay - Tribal village
During the reign of Jayachamaraja Wodeyar Bahadur (the 25th and the last Maharaja of the princely state of Mysore) artisans were practicing several crafts including ivory inlay in rosewood, as rosewood was available in abundance locally and elephant culling for ivory was still legal.
In the second half of the last century, a Master Craftsperson of the craft ‘Shokat Ali’ brought a totally new evolution in the craft by using locally available wood of different colors to create wonderful art pieces and replacing the ivory with treated plastic.
These art pieces were well appreciated by the king and it was easy to learn and practice for the other people too. The unique material culture and simple technique brought the revolution in the world of art and craft and also in the life of people, eventually in 2003 the craft was approved for a G I tag ( globally recognised – Geographical Indicator ).
Mysore inlay is a type of wood crafting developed by artisans under the aegis of the Wodeyar kings of Mysore. The craft originated with Ivory being inlaid in Sandalwood and has today evolved to the artisans using more easily accessible wood inlaid with treated plastic ( as a replacement to Ivory).