Utensils and decorative pieces made from bell metal are an integral part of the Assamese culture.
According to ancient history, it was way back in the 7th century when King Bhaskarbarma of ancient Kamrup gifted Kangshapatra (a vessel made of bell metal) along with many other articles made of bell metal to King Harshabardhana of Kannauj.
The bell-metal industry of Assam is the second-largest handicraft sector after bamboo craft.
Sarthebari in Assam has the credit of manufacturing most of the objects from bell metal. The common objects made by the artisans in Sarthebari are kalah (water pot), sarai (a platter or tray mounted on a base), kahi (dish), bati (bowl), lota (water pot with a long neck) and tal (cymbals).
Bell metal is called KAH in Assamese. It is prepared from the bell metal ore and is likely to contain about 78% copper and 22% tin.
In many households, ethnic restaurants, the use of bell metal cutleries are prominent. Consumption of food and water in bell metal utensils is beneficial for the body.
Kahor bason is used in the treatment of intestinal worms, skin diseases with dry and hard skin and eye problems. It may work as a digestive stimulant, tonic for eyes and a strong demulcent.Drinking water in bell-metal glass cleans your body due to certain minerals present in these glasses. Kahor bason is used in the treatment of intestinal worms, skin diseases with dry and hard skin and eye problems.
It may work as a digestive stimulant, tonic for eyes and a strong demulcent. It is also very helpful in treating worm infestation, skin diseases and blood disorders.
Bell-metal is an alloy of copper and tin and the craftsmen of this industry are referred to as 'Kahar' or 'Orja'. The objects made are mostly used in domestic and religious purposes.
Copper is a main element of the bell metal and is good for the formation of red blood cells, healthifies the immune system, works as an antioxidant and stimulate bile secretion from the liver and increase peristaltic movements and cures constipation.
Tin, which is also a part of the bell metal also supports the function of the adrenal, reduces fatigue and treats skin issues, enhances hair growth, induces sleep and treats insomnia.
According to Ayurveda, having food and water in bell metal container enhances intellect. Ayurveda says that kah is a good conductor of heat and retains heat well, keeping the food warmer and its contents richer for a longer period of time.
It makes the items germicidal depending upon the type and concentration of pathogens and the medium they are in, it kills these microorganisms within a few minutes to hours of contact. The potential efficacy of its components improves indoor air quality.