Been practised as an art form for centuries by the semi-nomadic tribal Wada community, the lacquer obtained from trees and extracted with a stone is mixed with colours and applied to wooden objects to create kaleidoscopic patterns and make them attractive and colourful.
Practised using simple handmade tools -- a self-made lathe, a string attached to a bow, and sticks of coloured lac. Each lathe is demarcated by two sharpened iron rods which are bent towards each other at ninety-degree angles and fixed in the ground. The distance between them is dependent on the length of wood the artisan is turning because the wood must be held firmly between the rods’ pointed ends. Next, the artisan begins by carving the wood into the desired shape, mixes the lac with colours creating coloured patterns on the object. Traditionally, vegetable dyes were used, but today artisans use brightly coloured chemical dyes. Finally, to help retain the sheen of the objects, groundnut oil is applied.