Most people are not aware of what patachitra is. It is a unique form of painting that is practiced only in some rural areas of West Bengal and Bihar and parts of Rajasthan. But the art is identified by different names in these areas. The word patachitra is the name that is given to these scroll paintings, which is done by the artists residing in the picturesque Naya Gaon. Thanks to the creation of these patuas, the name of this village has appeared on the international handicraft arena. A trip to West-Midnapore will not be complete if you do not visit this town.
Getting to the village of artists
The village has a total of 250 households, and the members of each family know the art of drawing this patachitra. A Naya village tour will start early in the morning, and each tourist will get a close look at the way in which these artists lead their lives. These artists are called patuas, and these paintings on paper rolls or cloth are called patachitra.
It is not easy to make these paintings on paper or cloth rolls. This patachitra at Naya village will attract your attention for sure. Another interesting feature of these pictures is they are painted with vegetable tints. These colors are herbal and have been made from the petals of flowers of various kinds.
This patachitra at Naya village are painted with freehand. The artists do not use any kind of tools except paint brushes. They dip the brushes in herbal paints and create magic on the paper rolls. A trip to West-Midnapore will also highlight that these patuas paint the mythological events on the paper or cloth.
Photo by MASRURAASHRAF
Bringing colors in the lives of all
Apart from these scroll paintings, you will see these narration paintings on every wall of each house. The residents of Naya Gaon do not keep their art restricted to paper or cloth. With their talent, they can transform the mud walls into amazing works of art. The hues of these vegetable paints look vibrant on these walls as well. If you are looking for a unique experience then trip to West-Midnapore is what you need.
Songs to go with the paintings at Naya Gaon
If you thought that patachitra at Naya village is the only thing to look out for, there is another surprise waiting for you. These artists are also well versed in singing. While painting the mythological events on paper scrolls, the painters sing songs, which are associated with the events. These songs are called “pater gaan.” Even the children of the village are well-versed in the art of patachitra and pater gaan. The craft is a dying art, and these villagers are trying their best to keep it alive. The children are taught by their parents, and in this way, the tradition of patachitra at Naya Gaon is handed down from one generation to another.
Celebration of the Pot Maya Carnival
In 2016, the Pot Maya Carnival was organized in the village. It lasted for a short span of three days. Thousands of people opted for a Naya village tour during that weekend. Individuals who have collect handicraft flocked in large numbers at the simple huts of these artists. The state government of West Bengal has announced that it will take necessary measures to promote the craft and develop tourism in the area. There is high demand for these scrolls in the international markets as well.
Photo by kg.abhi
Getting to the village
It is not difficult to reach the village. If you are new in this area, then any travel organizing company can make the arrangements on your behalf. The Naya village tour will not take more than a few hours. One can reach the Naya Gaon by train or by road. The residents of this village will welcome tourists in their homes and give them the chance of taking a closer look at the craft.
Steps must be taken to assist these artisans so that they can keep their tradition alive. The best way of helping these artists is by purchasing their products. It will elevate their financial condition and encourage them to take their unique trade further.
Featured Photo by dalbera