Patachitra, a unique cultural tradition of Bengal, draws inspiration from the mythological tales of India. The word Pata comes from the Sanskrit word ‘Patta’, meaning “cloth” and Chitra refers to “painting”. In Patachitra, stories are painted as frames on long scrolls and the Patuas who paint Patas, gradually unfurl them while presenting the story through their songs. The songs are known as Pater Gaan. All the artists bear the last name ‘Chitrakar’. Patachitra has drawn the attention and interest of artists, art connoisseurs and art researchers and has been nationally and internationally acclaimed as a very interesting style of painting. The changing time has been deftly captured by the Patuas. Traditionally, the paintings were on mythological stories. They paint on stories based on Manasamangal, Ramayan, Krishna and his love for Radha, on Satyapir etc. Many other topics like life of tribal people, marriage of fish and stories of wild animals also find buoyant expression in their painted frames.
The community uses natural colours sourced from flowers and leaves for their paintings.
Improvising from mythological stories, today the painters depict incidents like Tsunami or 9/11, climate change and other contemporary social issues like gender-based violence, child marriage in their scrolls.
The village is a flourishing hub of 300+ artists. The average monthly income of the artists has is in the range of Rs 15,000 with the leading ones earning two to three times more than the average. ....
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