The National Crafts Council of Bangladesh (NCCB) hosted the much-awaited ceremony, the Lifetime Master Craftsperson Award 2017, in the glorified spirit of honouring unsung artisans of the country.
This year's award-giving ceremony was held on Saturday, 20 January, at the Rezaur Rahman Auditorium of Dhaka University's Ganit Bhaban.
In a wholehearted attempt to keep the often-forgotten crafts alive, NCCB organises the annual event through which prominent craftsmen, aged over 60, are acknowledged for their lifelong contribution to Bangladeshi crafts.
Organised by NCCB and supported by the A F Mujibur Rahman Foundation (a charitable trust dedicated to promote educational opportunities with a special emphasis on mathematics), this year's award was proudly presented to terracotta artisan, Bisheshwar Pal, a potter hailing from Patuakhali, noted for his fusion of modern techniques with traditional craftsmanship.
He is attributed as the first local artisan to make black terracotta pottery using natural dye, resulting in safe and eco-friendly clay utensils.
“The artisans of Bangladesh don't get enough recognition for the craftwork they do. Events like these are baby steps towards appreciating their skill and art, and providing exposure to the underrated pottery work this country is associated with,” shares Simeen Mahmud, Head of the Gender Studies cluster and coordinator of the Centre for Gender and Social transformation of BRAC Institute of Governance and Development.
The closing speech for the event was delivered by the President of NCCB, Chandra Shekhar Saha himself.
“My earnest hope is for Bangladesh's craft tradition and culture to be enriched and to create inspirational stories for the future,” he said.
The award ceremony highlighted the long history and the impact of craftspeople and the quality of crafts weaving bits of the local culture into its heritage. And with the bright hopes of inspiring masters of art and craft to reach for great goals, NCCB's tireless efforts culminated for the day and the grand Lifetime Master Craftsperson Award 2017 drew to an end.