Pottery traditions among the Hira and Kumar potters of Barpeta district in Assam, India: A comparative study

The tradition of pottery-making in various communities was described by several British administrators and explorers in their writings. There are also sporadic references to these communities in the Census of India reports published in the last two centuries. Specific studies on the technology, types, artistic features, the community of potters and their socio-economic background were detailed in later works published in the twentieth century, which continues till today, but with more focus and finer details. These studies are of great importance for the ethnographic perspective, historical background of the craft and ethno-archaeological viewpoints. Hiras and Kumars are two distinct groups making pottery in Assam. This article is an attempt to examine and compare the pottery traditions of the Hira and Kumar potters of Barpeta district in Assam, focusing on the technology and variety of vessels and objects made by them.