Patua paintings are special narrative scrolls based on sacred subjects

Bhopal : Manimala Chitrakar of Midnapur West Bengal is giving new shapes along with her fellow artists in the production workshop of Shrishti Katha in the open-air exhibition of Myths of Indira Gandhi rashtriya manav sangrhalaya.Regarding this, she told that Patua paintings are special narrative scrolls based on sacred subjects. These are traditionally made on a single piece of cloth known as Patti or Patta. The makers called Chitrakar, or Patua, are part of an artisan community who roam from village to village and sing folk songs while opening the scroll in front of their audience. Traditionally, Patua painters used brushes made of bamboo and goat hair, scrolls usually depict scenes or panels from a larger story, images of animals, or scenes from the artist’s imagination. Old saree cloth is pasted on the back of the paintings to strengthen the scrolls. Today, Patua scrolls depict current affairs, history and other subjects in addition to more traditional subjects.

In the Manav Sangrahalaya we are currently depicting the origin story of the Patua painters.Marang-Burung-the primordial God-summoned from the underworld water-creatures like the creb,thetortoise,thesnake and asked them to rescue the submerged earth.therafter,he first of all created two cow’s called Ani-Gaya and Bain-Gaya, whose saliva produced two birds.From the eggs of these bird,there issued forth the first human couple pilchu-Haramand Pilchu-Burhi.They gave birth to sevensons and daughters,and after marrying them off, relinquished their bodies. The eldest son, in the roleof Jadhav Guru, made portraits of his parents, in which painting of the eyes is called Chakshu-Danm the offering of the eyes. Thus arose also the art of Patua painting and the first Patua painter. On this slab are painted, both the myths, pertaining to the origin of Patua painting.

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