On this trip to Kolkata, I had a chance to visit the famous Handicrafts Mela that is held every year for 3 weeks starting 15th November to 1st week of December at Eco PARK, Salt Lake.
It is a government initiative to help the artisans to sustain economically and also to preserve the #ancient folk-art from vanishing.
Met this lovely lady Mamta Chitrakaar who hails from Medinipur and comes to the Handicraft mela every year to exhibit her work. She is a Patua artist.
Patua artists of West Bengal are the singing storytellers who paint vibrant, visual images of folk tales, Hindu deities, and mythological narratives from Ramayana & Mahabharata. These paintings are called Pattachitra. “Patta" literary means cloth and “Chitra" means picture. It is the ancient folk art of West Bengal, and an age old way of passing information from generation to generation in the form of a pictorial story.
Mamta was happy to show us some of her traditional patua scroll paintings. She was even delighted to sing for us and narrate one of the stories from the Pattachitra she had painted. It is based on the theme ‘plant trees, save environment’.
Over the years and generations, patua artists have come to recognize the importance of social issues. In an effort to make a difference, these artists have started painting and reflecting on topics of current social issues.
Moving from conventional themes to current topics, they are breaking the stereotypes of a Patua artist. Widely known to paint myths and folklores, it is a great initiative on their part to educate the less privileged people about saving environment, benefits of clean water, educating a girl child and more such topics.
#stories #storytellers #artisans #folktales #mythology #paintings #pictures #artists