Harappan Arts and Crafts

The discovery of the sculpture of a bearded man from Mohenjo-Daro with a shawl worn over his left shoulder and half-closed eyes is considered a sculpture of a yogi. This sculpture points towards the existence of skilled artisans in the Harappan Civilisation. Similarly, the bronze sculpture of a dancing girl also indicates skilled craftsmanship. In this article, we have written a detailed note on Harappan Arts and Crafts.

Harappan Arts and Crafts

  • In Harappan cities, many figurines of clay and terracotta such as bullock carts and plows have been found. Many beads, weights, and blades have also been found.
  • While copper and bronze were used to make tools, weapons, and vessels, gold and silver were used to make ornaments.
  • Glossy shining pottery was made by the potters in Harappa. Earthen vessels and pottery were decorated with black geometrical designs. These show the skilled craftsmanship of the people.


  • The Harappan artists were great sculptors. Many stone images have been found. Among these, an image of a yogi wearing a shawl on his left arm is well known.
  • The bronze statue of a dancing girl is another brilliant piece of art.
  • Apart from these, several bronze figures of animals like buffalo and carts have been found.
  • The metal statues were made through a special lost wax process. In this process, the first figures in wax were created. They were then coated with clay. Later, the wax was removed after heating and the hollow mold was filled with molten metal which then took the shape of the object.


Various ornaments such as necklaces, finger rings, bangles, armlets, anklets, nose rings, and earrings were made of gold, silver, precious stones, and ivory.

Toys and Amusements

Many pieces of toys and musical instruments have been found during excavations. Drum and lyre were the main musical instruments. Toys of birds, animal figurines, carts, and whistles have been found. It is assumed that people played with dice and went on hunting and fishing expeditions.


  • Seals form an important source of information about the religious life of the Harappans. Apart from the discovery of the fire altar at Kalibangan, no cult objects, temples or places of worship have been found.
  • From the seals which have been discovered, it has been concluded that religion during the Harappan times bore traces of later Hinduism as images of Pashupati, goddesses, and sacred trees and animals have been discovered.
  • In one of the figures, a plant is shown as growing out of a woman’s body. Historians believe it to be Mother Earth, which was also worshipped in the Middle East and Europe.
  • Many seals bearing the images of animals have been discovered. Animals that were considered sacred were bull, humped bull, elephant, and tiger.
  • The Discovery of amulets in large numbers shows that the Harappans believed in the existence of evil forces.

Also, Read The Harappan Civilisaion

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