Occupational Variability of Potters behind the Demise of the Traditional Pottery Industry

Social IssuesCulture

  • Author Md. Saniul Haque
  • Published April 24, 2024
  • Word count 1,122

Pottery is the traditional community occupation of the Potter community. Their profession is passed down from generation to generation. But gradually, their communal identity is disappearing as a result of changing professions. Pottery is a symbol of their culture. But career changes can threaten their unique position. Therefore, the cause of occupational change in the Potter community has been investigated with the objective of determining why the occupational change of Potters is taking place and what the change is in their endangered cultural life. Scarcity of industrial materials, increase in cost of materials, effect of education, emergence of new workplaces, reluctance towards this profession, loss of status, etc. are active behind the change of profession. Their attitude towards their profession also plays a role here. Besides, the change of era, the change of market and demand, professional transfer, and the change of concept have turned them away from this profession. I think that this research carried out in the light of the theory of cultural change in anthropology can be helpful in understanding the perspective of occupational change in the minority community

Pottery has a place in society as an independent profession. Those involved in this profession are a handful of people. But the products produced by this community play an important role in the state economy. As a result of many people being involved in this profession in earlier generations, the variety of furniture made of clay can be seen in the present day, but the picture of furniture in general declines in this regard. From this, one can infer their inclination towards industrial diversion. As a result, their cultural activities and communal identity are affected. This industrial diversion of the potters has contributed to the current generation's career change as well as their cultural activities and communal identity.

Although many people seem to lead a normal life, there are many problems and angsts behind the lives of potters, especially in their professional lives. The spread of modern industry and the substitution of earthen goods have threatened their prospects and occupation. Besides, after getting an education, the freshmen also do not show much interest in taking up this profession. Besides, lack of sufficient demand in the market, not changing the scope of work in keeping with time, lack of innovation in work, problems of raw materials and transportation, and obstacles in the normal progress of the profession of potters due to various advantages of pottery made of various metals, including plastic, steel, melamine, ceramic, and aluminium are being made.

Besides, there are various other obstacles and factors that have contributed to their career change. This industry is prone to material problems. Materials, or raw materials, are required for the development of industries. Clay is the main ingredient in pottery. And this soil is no ordinary soil. It is found about 6-7 layers deep in the soil. Soil collection is also quite risky, and not much workable soil can be obtained from a mine or pit. The increase in the number of houses is now creating houses for the additional population. Sunlight is needed to dry earthenware. Houses have now been built where the yard used to be used for drying. And those who have yards have less yard space. Many things cannot be dried in a small space, so the goods cannot be delivered on time. Also, the amount of firewood required for burning is currently very expensive. Besides, the potters have to struggle to make ends meet with the money they earn from selling pottery. Economic implications have played a major role in the change in the occupation of potters. On the one hand, the increase in the price of goods: on the other hand, the downward trend of the income of their profession; All in all, in real social life, this community based on rural professions is not able to rely on the minimum survival of life in their profession. Due to this, they are forced to change their profession and they are taking on new professions.

The current market is competitive. In order to survive in a competitive market, it is necessary to take care of the diverse needs of consumers. Currently, there are alternatives to clay products on the market. For example, from vases to showpieces, flower tubs, water mugs, water tanks, and even plastic chairs has taken the place of wood. The reason people turn to alternative products is that earthenware breaks when dropped and cannot be put back together. But plastic doesn't break, and even if it breaks, it can be glued back together. Thus, due to the import, demand and durability of pottery made of various metals, including plastic, melamine, ceramic, and aluminium from different cultures, the demand for these things made of clay is decreasing. Due to the fact that there is no demand according to production, the potters are also facing financial losses. As a result of this kind of cultural distraction, the economic recession has resulted in them withdrawing from their profession day by day.

The next generation of Potters shows reluctance to assert their professional identity in personal, family, socio-economic and political spheres. Because behind it, there is inequality and stratification involved. Occupation, especially status, is a very important indicator in studying inequality and stratification. Measures of social inequality and stratification are used in different ways to rank different classes. People of different professions enjoy different degrees of status in different societies at different times. Apart from doctors, engineers, teachers, lawyers and other educated people enjoy high status in our society. But potters are not given such status. As a result, potters want to educate their children so that their present and future generations can enjoy the dignity they deserve.

Perhaps the change in the profession could have been prevented if the educated members of the Potter community had tried to sustain the profession through modernization. But there is not much interest in this industry among educated people. It can be said that if the current generation takes their information and technology-based thinking and action into account in the development of pottery, the progress of this community profession of potters is possible, along with the improvement of pottery. The value of potters' labour will increase if the demand in the market can be created through the cooperation of the government and development agencies in this industry, resulting in more investment and an increase in design innovation, modernization and sustainability. Besides, they need credit facilities and financial support for raw materials, payment of wages and meeting their business obligations. Governments, nationalized commercial banks and other financial institutions need to come forward to finance entrepreneurs by providing short, medium, and long-term loans. This has the potential to prevent Potters from changing professions.

I am a student of University of Chittagong. I am submitting this article from my year-long research monograph.

Article source: https://articlebiz.com
This article has been viewed 453 times.

Rate article

This article has a 4 rating with 21 votes.

Article comments

There are no posted comments.

Related articles