The crafts of the state are intricately beautiful, capturing the fancies of tourists and locals alike. These crafts are a mirror of Goa's perennial beauty and they have won critical acclaim of the connoisseurs of the art world.
Goan lace is here, as are colourful masks, cotton bags, wooden toys and the excellent shopping bags and table mats woven from sisal or banana, coconut or pineapple fibre.
The best items are perhaps the fabulous terracotta and brass items from Bicholim. Items made from exquisite sea shells ranging from chandeliers to mirrors to idols are also much in demand.
The major art forms of the state include bamboo craft, woodcarving, brass metals, seashell craft, Papier-Mache, and wooden lacquer ware. Other important crafts are Jute Macrame, Fabric Collage, Plaster of Paris, Crochet and embroidery, fiber and Batik prints, fiber stone carving, Coconut shell carving, metal embossing, silver and imitation jewelry, cotton dolls, soft toys, woolen tapestry, and artistic weaving.
Goa does not lag behind as far as local arts and crafts are concerned and with the superb craftsmanship of the local artisans has managed to carve out a niche for itself in this highly competitive field.
Local artists make excellent souvenirs from a wide range of materials. These items are crafted by professional artisans in their ethnic ambience in the rural areas, and also by artisans working at the arts and crafts complexes run by the government.
The products are sold through various handicraft emporia and at stalls at all the major tourist spots. The art and craft of Goa is the product of the aesthetic blend of Portuguese and Indian cultures.
POTTERY & TERRACOTA These are traditional crafts with utility-cum-decorative items produced by the potters with artistic perfection and realistic finish. The items produced with this craft include flower garden pots, bowls with floral designs, figures of Saints, Gods' and Goddesses' and animals, ashtrays and penholders, etc.
BRASS METAL WARE While utensils of utility are made of sheet metal (copper), brass metal casting is a craft passed on from one generation to another practised on hereditary basis. The items produced include oil lamps in various designs, candle stands, temple towers, church bells, ashtrays, etc
WOODEN LAQUERWARE/WOOD TURNING Some of the most exquisite items produced in Goan woodcraft include cradles, baby carts, toys, corner stands, etc. which are used mostly by Hindu families on religious occassions.
CROCHET & EMBROIDERY Works such as tablecloths, children and ladies garments, pillow and cushion covers, linen form a breathtaking apparel range.
BAMBOO CRAFT One of the major crafts industry of Goa. The list of popular Bamboo products include flower baskets, mats, and letter-holders, pen stands, fans and other decorative items.
FIBRE CRAFT Shopping bags, ladies purses, coasters and wall hangings, and other essential accessory items used in daily purposes are made of banana or sisal fibre and the major fibre craft centre is situated in Corlim.
JUTE MACRAME CRAFT Jute craft is known to be one of the most unique crafts of India and items such as decorative bags, belts, wall hangings, lamp shades, flower pots, hangers, etc are popular Goan souvenirs.
COCONUT MASK CARVING & SEA SHELL CRAFT Mask carving has got a whole new look in Goa as it is done on coconut shells. Sea shell craft produces ashtrays, lamp shades, coasters, chandeliers, curtains, pot hangers, table mats, clocks, mirror frame, etc.
Your Goan holiday would be incomplete unless you take the famed cashewnuts back home with you. They are easily available in all the prominent marketplaces. Better still, you can buy them at the various cashew factories that dot the state. Seeing the raw cashewnuts undergo a variety of processes is a truly novel experience.
Goa offers a fascinating shopping option in the form of lifestyle and fashion shops that have come up in exquisite, painstakingly-restored Goan houses. They offer the best selections in home styling and fashion at extremely reasonable prices.
Shopping at a traditional town or village market in Goa is an experience in itself. You can haggle to your heart’s content and pick up quite a few delightful deals.
The Friday Market at Mapusa is extremely popular. You will find everything from curios to old coins, and from dried fish to spices being sold here.
The Wednesday Market at Anjuna Beach is an extremely lively spot where souvenirs, beachwear, trinkets and handicrafts are sold at bargain prices.