India is a land of different cultures where over 1.5 billion people belonging to different communities live together . Many years back when India was called the GOLDEN BIRD , which was then brutally plundered by the foreign invaders, was not only because of the monetary wealth but also due to the rich culture and art form which the land once inhabited. Today centuries later, when we are still reeling from the affect of past attacks and with modernization reigning over, it has become extremely difficult and also important to preserve the dying art forms to save a remainder of our rich heritage . Also these art forms have been a source of income for lakhs of people .

While the term ART includes dance, singing and the paintings , in this blog we will have a glimpse on the five lesser known and underrated art forms which are desperately needed to be saved.

Madhubani Paintings

Originated in Madhubani district of Mithila region of Bihar, these paintings are said to have been made on the walls of every house of all the villages to celebrate the wedding of Lord Ram and Goddess Sita. The paintings are made using fingers, twigs, nib pens , brushes and matchsticks as tools. The color in the original Madhubani painting is given using natural dyes and pigments. Originally done on a freshly plastered mud wall , now for the commercial purposes the paintings are being made on a canvas or cloth. The paintings generally represents mythological Hindu deities, court scenes , traditional weddings and social gatherings. The All India Handicrafts Board and the Government of India in order to promote these traditional art form have asked women from the non agricultural backgrounds to continue painting on canvas or cloth and this has also become a source of income for many families.

Miniature Paintings

The origin of these paintings darts back to 7th century under the patronage of the Palas of Bengal. It is a kaleidoscope of history, scriptures and lives of people through ages made by the use of delicate brushwork, mixture of different colors and graceful forms. The paintings are so delicately made that even today in this world of modernization the brushes used for these paintings are made from Squirrel’s hairs. This intense labor of love illustrating the ancient mythology is created on palm leaves, paper, wood , ivory panel and cloth using natural colors such as stone dust, silver dust and real gold

Chambal Rumaal

This art form is an embroidered handicraft promoted under the patronage of the rulers of Chamba and was a common gift item exchanged during the marriages in ancient times. It is said that the earliest reported form of this art was made by Bebe Nanaki , the sister of Guru Nanak in 16th century and is still preserved in the Hoshiarpur Gurudwara. The art form is now continued in various parts of Himachal Pradesh and is made on a square or rectangle shaped cut muslin or khaddar material. Embroider Lalita Vakil got the NARI SHAKTI AWARD by the President of India Mr. Ram Nath Kovind for promoting this art form and giving employment to many women.

Gond Art

This art form is the tribal art of the Gond tribe which is one of the largest tribes of Madhya Pradesh. The art form preserves and communicate the culture of the Gond Tribal Community. The paintings constitute of two main designs called DIGNA and BHITTICHIBA . While the DIGNA designs constitutes of traditional geometric patterns which were originally made on the floors and walls of the house , the BHITTICHIBA designs constitutes the animals , plants and trees which were made on the walls of the houses.

Pattachitra Art

The art form includes the ancient artworks of Odisha which were generally used for ritual purposes and as a souvenir for the pilgrims of Puri and other temples. The cloth based scroll painting captures mythological narratives and folktales which are inscribed on the cloth with intricate details. The painting is made on a traditional canvas which is made by coating a gauze like fine cotton cloth with white stone powder and gum made of tamarind seeds which makes the canvas ready to accept the paints made by natural means. it is basically a dominant icon painting and almost all the chitarakars of this community hails from Puri , a small village in the heart of Odisha . It is also the only village in the entire country where everyone is engaged in one art form or the other such as patta painting, wooden toys making and stone crafting.

The rich ancient heritage of Indian art forms cannot be contained anywhere. This blog was just a means to let people know of the beautiful things which we are missing on.