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Patachitra Painting


Patachitra the word comes from Pattachitra, which is a general term for traditional, cloth-based scroll painting, mainly rooted from the eastern India, specifically from Odisha and West Bengal. This is also uniquely known as a traditional performative art from eastern India. In Bengal, Bankura, Purulia, West Mednipur and Birbhum of West Bengal are the place where the patachitra art bloomed over the last 15 years. Patachitra art is known for its intricate details based on the mythological narratives and folktales inscribed in it. This is a unique cultural tradition of Bengal where the Patua, a community of itinerant scroll painters and singers, who paint stories in picture frames on long cloth scrolls, and sing the story while unfurling the scroll. Interestingly, in this distinctive Indian Art form Patua artists use natural colors & dyes made from vegetables, fruits and flowers. The Bengal patachitras are divided in three original formats, such as – • Jadano pat or the scroll- showing episodes sequentially in a vertically placed manner with mostly ten to fifteen frames as all. • The Arelatai pat- here the picture frames are horizontal in nature- bound in two ends by two wooden sticks to enable the patua to unroll the pat as he gradually displayed it in front of an audience. • Finally, the Choukosh pat or the square pat, which is a single sheet of rectangular paper commonly used to eulogies a deity or an event. Overall, this art form of Bengal is a typical representation of an oral tradition- which has been alive through generations which conveys the important threads of history of the region. As an important landmark in Indian Art, the Bengal Patachitra has received the Geographical Indications (GI) tag in 2018.

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