The local handicrafts of Goa truly make for colourful souvenirs. You can find them wherever you go, peeking out from shop windows and calling out to you in noisy flea markets.
From intricate wood carving to colourful wooden lacquerware, from sturdy bamboo craft to delicate papier-mâché, from fabulous terracotta and brassware to art pieces made from exotic sea shells, from intricate crochet and embroidery to rustic jute macramé, from delicate fibre craft to unconventional coconut masks, Goa’s art forms are as varied and colourful as the land itself.
Take home a souvenir, a memory, a sliver of time...to remind you that you lived the life of many years in the shortest possible period in Goa!
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 can be found here, as are colourful masks, cotton bags, wooden toys, 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 along, 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 outstanding craftsmanship of the local artisans, it 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', 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 practiced 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 occasions.
CROCHET & EMBROIDERY
Works such as tablecloths, children and ladies garments, pillow, cushion covers and linen form a breathtaking apparel range.
One of the major crafts industries of Goa is the bamboo craft. The lists of popular bamboo products include flower baskets, mats, letter-holders, pen stands, fans and other decorative items.
Shopping bags, ladies purses, coasters, wall hangings and other essential accessory items used in daily purposes are made of banana or sisal fibre. 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 frames, etc.