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Thursday, June 12, 2008

Indian Art and Craft : Floor Designs and Madhubani Paintings - 5

Guys, it is the 5th segment of Indian Art and Craft. I have furnished here the history of Floor Designs and Madhubani Paintings. Just take a look.


Rangoli, also known as Alpana and Kolam, is the art of decorating floors and walls of houses using the powder of white stone, lime or rice flour, with bare fingers in place of a brush. Most Rangoli designs are motifs of plants and animals, though there are geometrical design as well. Each state has its own styles of painting. On special occasions, its is painted in every home, with or without formal training. Women compete with each other to draw a new design for every occasion. Rangoli is used as a tool for propitiating the Gods.


A folk art, Madhubani paintings are done by women living near the market town of Madhubani in Bihar. The representational but stylized and symbolic Madhubani tradition incorporates the great life-cycle rite of marriage. It portrays some of the major Gods and Goddesses of the Hindu pantheon and domesticated and wild animals. The figures from nature and mythology have been painted through centuries on household walls to mark seasonal festivals of the religious year and for special events such as marriages.

The women came to be acknowledged as "artists" only in the last three decades. It was a major drought in 1966-68 that brought the region into world recognition, resulting in the All-India Handicrafts Board taking notice. It then started encouraging the women artists to produce their traditional paintings on handmade paper for commercial sale. Even now, most of the work remains anonymous as some of them being illiterate remain reluctant to consider themselves individual producers of "works of art".

Commercialization of the folk art has been a mixed blessing. It has generated a multilevel distribution system. It has also allowed people around the world to discover a style of art with a long heritage linked to the lives of women, one that has created a new source of gainful employment for rural Indian women. The continuing market in this art throughout the world is tribute to the resourcefulness of the women of Madhubani who have successfully transferred their techniques of "bbitti cbitra" or wall-painting to the medium of paper and have resisted the temptation to adapt their traditional designs too freely in pursuit of unpredictable public tastes.

Related Links:

01. Indian Art and Craft : The Living Age - 1
02. Indian Art and Craft : The painting history of India - 2
03. Indian Art and Craft : India the home of Painting - 3
04. Indian Art and Craft : Ajanta Paintings - 4
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