Moulds are an integral part of Bengali sweet production. In this photoessay, Anirban Banerjee brings to us a selection of mould used for dried mango sheets – amsatta and chhana based sweets (sandesh). In this photo essay, Anirban Banerjee focusses on two kinds of mould which are used in homes as well as sweetshops. According to written sources women were skilled in carving stone based mould used for amsatta. Presently, the skill of mould graving is limited to male artisans in select parts of Kolkata- Notun Bazar being one of them. This selection of images are mostly from 19th century undivided Bengal. Some of the moulds are sourced from Faridpur. Post partition, Faridpur came under the then East Pakistan and later Bangladesh. This photo essay documents the intricate carvings on clay and stone.
We are grateful to Gurusaday Dutta Museum, Kolkata for allowing Anirban Banerjee to shoot from their collection of mould which is available for public viewing.