Traditionally the people of Assam have been craftsmen and those who are engaged in wood carving and have passed the skills from generation to generation are known as khanikars. Assam is a thickly forested area which has a wide range of wood and timber available in them, which contributes to this rich tradition of wood sculpture art. It is often said that the artisans in Assam are so specialized in their skills that by mere touch even in the dark, they can not only recognize the type of timber but can make a series of items from it.
The sacred worship places of people in their houses known as namghars or kirtanghar are built from wood and contains a peacock shaped throne-like seat. On the doors, beams, walls, ceilings and on simhasanas (lion’s seat) of prayer houses, deities and flowers are elaborately carved in wood. In wooden sculpture, carvings of animal figures having mythical context such as the monkey god the Hanuman, the vahana of Vishnu half-man and half-eagle garuda, vahana of ganga, vahana of devi the simha or lion, and crocodile has gained place. Elaborately carved decorative wooden panels can be seen in Royal palaces and old monasteries.
Modern time wooden sculpture artist are more interested in producing commercial value articles such as stools, chests, hukkas, etc. and Incredible Sculpture is one company that offers these articles in addition to other carving works.