Puppet shows were a favored medium to tell stories and tales could have the favored mythological and religious themes or even touch on socio-political issues. Kalasutri Bahulya, literally the doll moved by the thread, presents stories from Ramayana, from the birth of Rama to the killing of Ravana. The performers are also good chitrakathi tellers and narrate tales from the epics. Imagine the drama of a shadow puppet show, as the colorful puppets, backlit by large oil lamps and manipulated expertly behind white sheets come alive with songs and music! The musical instruments used are the tabla, tuntue ( a stringed instrument ), cymbals & conch.
India possesses a huge tradition of diversified art forms. Cave paintings, Ajintha painting, Pal-jain, Miniature, Kalighat, Madhubani, Tanjawar painting styles similarly among Tribal Art forms Saora, Gaud, Paura, Pradhan, Warali, and Chtrakathi are some to mention. Some art forms are famous but some in spite of their superior styles have not reached out to people. Chitrakathi is one of those arts!
What is Chitrakathi? In spite of being tribal art form; is developed in skills and in thought process to a great extent. Chitrakathi Paintings (Maharashtra) are around 300 years old which states Chitra(picture)-Kathi (story) in which stories of the Ganesh Puran, Ramayana, the Mahabharata, and all God’s Puran are portrayed. Chitrakathi is an extinct art that is practiced by the Thakkar tribal community of Maharashtra.