S K Sarkar/Pata Chitras : Cultural Carriers of Indian Society


Asst. Professor, Department of Fine Arts,

LPU, Phagwara (Jalandhar), Punjab-144402, India.



The past plays an important role in the thinking capacity of a person. Without the past, human society cannot think for the present as well as future.  During the Indus valley civilization which is worldwide known as  an unique Dravidian Civilization  shows uniformity in  its growth  in many spheres like – town planning, urban development , social development, Business and campaigning, Science and technology, art, literature and culture, and freedom for both sex, no gender discrimination. Indian art and cultures linked with Indus Valley Civilization. In this research paper, I would like to project the art of Indian subcontinent as well as Bengal defines varied mythologies, epics, folk and fairy tales, applied folklore and folktales. Likewise social and cultural life experienced a uniform growth in all sphere.  Art comes spontaneously from the mind to communicate to others. People tend to express their inner ideas through feelings. Expression through art is an inherent quality of human beings. Folklore of any country plays a parental role to give birth to folk art, folk literature, folk theatre, folk music, folk medicine, folk astrology and folk astronomy as well.  Scroll art of Bengal, which is the combination of both visual and oral, was conventionalized through narrative style.  To deal with all these, an ancient mercantile folk art entrepreneurship was developed.  St. Jerome quoted that “The face is the mirror of mind and eyes without speaking confess the secret of the hearts.” Expression is the mirror of inherent quality. Expression through art one can reciprocate his innate feeling of human being. People of scroll narrator or communities are mirror of the society. They have sacrificed their lives for the upliftment of the society. They are not only the mirror of the society but also from Indus Valley to Brahmaputra valley and Kashmir valley to Cauvery valley they played the role of chief entertainer and mass communicator. The ongoing 21st century, which is the age of globalization, and age of advent of science and technology is marked by the incidence of cultural crisis. It is the era in which many tribal/folk art & cultural forms are either losing originality, or passing into oblivion. According to researcher A K Haldar, our traditional culture is being replaced by a homogenized and westernized culture which is fomented and fostered by rampant consumerism. This has a negative impact on art and culture of the third-world countries.

Key Words: Civilization- conventionalization- entrepreneurship- globalization- homogenized- upliftment of the society.


 The aims to focus on Scroll narratives as Bardic tradition have been known to exist in Indian Subcontinent since time immemorial.

  1. A study of folklore in literature and culture helps to track out the link between historical past and problem ridden present situation of folk practitioners.
  2. An expansion of scholarly inquiry in the field of folk art as well as scroll narrative studies need to establish a unique area of study so as to open up sub genres to critical assessment.
  3. As a proponent of scroll narratives tradition, one has to concentrate on the prescribed theory of visual and oral expression. This theory looks to the narrator and performer for the key of composition and structure of myth, epic, applied folklores and folktales.

Over a long period of time, at least, the major contributions to the study of oral narratives, both inside and outside of anthropology seem to have remained within the literary and historical orbit. Consequently, anthropologists who are uninterested in the problem defined by this frame of reference have not bothered much with oral narratives, and those concerned with such problems have not made use of the material in any other way[1]. The scroll narrator of Bengal they were the bards and practice an art form which is the combination of visual and oral expression. While displaying their scroll, the scroll narrators try to reach their audience with sincere efforts and dignity. They are facing many challenges with the advent of globalization. Though the high pitch melodic tune of narrations in the fall afternoon inspire the audience since generations. From the time immemorial they are playing a unique role that of a mass communicator and a mass entertainer.  People of united Bengal and neighbouring regions used to get much more information as well entertainments from this community. Scroll -narrators love their profession they never hesitate to change the religion as their intention was to keep their age old traditions alive. Many times, they became the scapegoat of the situation and had to face exploitation to satisfy their rulers, religious leaders, audience, or patrons.  In the course of time, surface of scroll has been changed, as per availability. In the beginning, they used to take tree barks as scroll surface, big tree leaves join together to make a lengthy scroll. Palm leaves were used by them as a scroll surface. Slowly, they got rough jute cloth, silk cloth, and cotton cloth to use these as scroll surface. According to the researcher of Indian art, in ancient ages, pictures were known as ‘pattachitra or patachitra’[2]. The creators of ‘patachitra’ were well known as the ‘patuas‘. On the basis of regional differences, the Patuas are classified as – pattikar, pattidar, chitrakar etc.

Though scroll painting or scroll narratives art forms are practiced primarily in East Asia, the two dominant types may be illustrated by the Chinese landscape scroll, which is that culture’s greatest contribution to the history of painting, and the Japanese narrative scroll, which developed the storytelling potential of painting, in some Asian countries like Philippines. Chinese and Japanese Folk art is utilitarian means functional and decorative rather than purely aesthetic. The landscape hand scroll ( makimono scroll ) is pictorial rather than narrative form that reached its greatest merit in the period of 10th  and 11th  centuries with great artists such as Xu Daoning and Fan Kuan. Japanese scroll style became famous as per the name of an ancient Hyogu temple in Hyogu also known as Hyoso means mounted art. The most challenging task for craftsmen is to make the hanging scroll of Hyogu. With the combination of papers or cloths of different color and pattern, Hyogu needs to fit the mood of rooms. The primary characteristic of these scrolls is the use of only one cloth for all parts of the scroll, and the Ichimonji[3] bordering the artwork of the scroll. These scrolls have lack of a chumawashi[4], which is typically a silk scroll with a karakusa[5] pattern in the cloth. These are commonly made with solid colors in Japan. Some books list this as a so no Gyo style[6] scroll, but instructors of scroll like Sagawa, Taishin, of Shibuya Kakejikuya[7] have not put this scroll style in any category. It is well known fact that Japanese emakimono[8] scroll painting of the 12th and 13th centuries is nearly contemporary to Chinese landscape scroll painting. Emakimono scrolls[9] are long horizontal scrolls, width around 10–15 inches (25–38 cm) and length up to 30 feet (9 meters). This painting tradition is known as Yamato-e, or Japanese painting. Japanese scroll emakimono combines both pictures and text, and is drawn, painted, or stamped on a hand scroll.

In Thailand, scroll narrative painters have chosen theme from Jataka stories[10]:  it is totally based on Vessantara Jataka stories.  They are predominantly depicting the life of Prince Vessantara; they are narrating his deed or karma cumulated over more than five hundred years ago about his life history. Nepal had scroll narrative tradition. Nepal chitrakars ( painters ) painted finest scroll Manavinayaka[11] till the end of the 16th Century. Pata Painters are known as chitrakars. Bangladesh also has scroll narrative painting tradition. Earlier in many places scroll narratives was practiced like- Dhaka, Noakhali, Mymensingh, Rajshahi, and Munshiganj in Bangladesh.  But now it is restricted to one place and one family of Munshiganj. Munshiganj-based Shambhu Acharya is famous as patachitra painter of Bangladesh.

The Indian tradition of scroll narrative art or storytelling art, often accompanying by painted panels of scrolls, can be traced back through literary evidence to at least the 2nd century BC and are known to be existed almost all over the Indian subcontinent.

Rajasthani scroll narratives are predominantly on the legends of Pabuji and Dev Narayan; Pabuji is a holy folk hero, and Dev Narayana is a Neo- Vaishnava incarnation. In Gujarat, the Garoda community also narrates story while describing scrolls. They are traditional pata or scroll painters narrating sacred legends with the aid of tipanu or scroll paintings that were once famous all over Gujarat.  Maharashtra also comprises storytelling tradition. Name of the storytelling community is chitrakathi. This storytelling community belongs to the Paithan region of Maharashtra. In Andhra Pradesh and present Telangana, legends about the origin of a particular caste and heroic deeds of one of its legendary heroes are narrated through the scroll narratives. Even though some of the scrolls depict episodes from Hindu mythology and the Puranas, legendary figures of the particular caste are fitted into the narrative. The Patua or Pata-chitrakar community of Bengal was practicing both Buddhism and Hinduism with an emphasis on TantrismPata art tradition is also an important element in Bengali cultural heritage. This art form flourished particularly during the Buddhist period in Bengal and normally carried the life sketches of Buddha and his preaching and famous tales.

  Review on Different kind of Narratives:

While scholars were concentrating on narrative art naturally they came across all types of narratives arts and tried to relate scroll narratives with stage as well sequence of narratives.

A sequential narrative is very much like a continuous narrative with one major difference. A sequential narrative focuses on enfacement to develop temporal development while a continuous requires criteria provided by the image itself.  Continuous narrative is a technique in painting in which earlier and later parts of a story are shown in the same scene as if they’re happening at the same time. Progressive Narrative is a kind of narrative that displays a single scene in which characters do no repeat. But some multiple actions may take place in order to convey a passing of time in the narrative. Panoptic Narrative is a narrative known as Panoramic Narrative that also depicts numerous scenes and actions without the reapplication of images. Layered Narrative is single-layered narrative which follows the opening part, center part and conclusion part. A layered narrative has multiple narratives that runs parallel to (and are linked to) the main narrative. Synoptic narrative style depicts a solitary picture in which images or characters are represented numerous times within a frame to convey a variety of actions taking place.

Narratives mean arranging story of an event or several events, a story may be long or short; of past, present or future; factual or imagined; told for any purpose; and with or without much details of action, about a series of happenings. When oral narratives display in the folk or social context in the form of scroll painting in a given myth or an epic, it is called as Scroll-narrative.

A scroll recital is an extended narrative usually with an informative purpose, the story or narrative will tell a tale. It has been cleared that words were meaningless without great ideas.

A scholar of Folk culture Frank J. Korom said about the changing world of the Patuas, they are the community of itinerant scroll painters and singers residing in Medinipur District, West Bengal, India. These impoverished artists are adapting to modernity by expanding their repertoires to include contemporary social and political themes. Originally, they were Hindus who converted themselves to Islam during the medieval period, but because they sing about Hindu gods and goddesses for Hindu patrons, they have not become fully accepted into the Muslim mainstream. Even though the tradition is changing rapidly as a result of modernity, Korom argues for a form of “alternative modernity,” which allows for change within the tradition while adhering to local aesthetic sensibilities. To demonstrate this “alternative modernity,” songs on modern themes are sung in traditional meters that accompany photo illustrations.[12] Saumitra Chakravarty argues that this form of worship may be traced back to the tribes of Proto-Australoid origin, who inhabited the plains of eastern India before Aryan settlement. Vestiges of this culture and form of worship lingered on amidst the lowest castes of the Hindu hierarchy, who mingled easily with the tribes even after the Aryan influence swept the region.[13]

Patuas hold onto mythological themes but now they also paint on social issues:

When oral narratives display in the form of scroll painting in a given myth, epic, folk or social context it is called Scroll-narratives.  Quite a few villages of Bengal are playing leading role, and many Patuas are dedicated for this folk tradition. Scroll painting or scroll narrative art is the story telling art conveying the events in narration, and images, often by improvisation or embellishment. Stories or narratives possess a form of entertainment, education and cultural interaction. Crucial elements of stories and storytelling include depiction of design, character, and correct utilizing of the space.  Patuas first make narratives part and paint scroll based on various stories from myths, epics, folk tales, fairy tales, social issues etc. Scroll narrator narrates his/her scroll by supporting positive utility of Tree plantation, and Polio Vaccination, HIV/AIDS preventions. Patuas or scroll narrators definitely try to concentrate on first panel of the concerned topic with supreme care and then other panels follow. Generally, scroll painters make seven-eight panels in the scroll but they are of the opinion that if somebody would commission them, they would have made some more panels in this scroll. Definitely scroll painter try to maintain an inter relationship with each and every panel.  And the narrative also moves likewise. All the times, Patuas are not able to paint all the scenes or panels according to the lyrics of the scroll narratives or scroll stories they made. In that context, Patua skillfully bridges the gap with high pitch narrations.

When they perform, they unfurl scroll while the story accompanying the picture is sung. The narration goes with the changing of the pitch into high and low. Tunes are combined from Baul, Fakiri and Tarjaa songs. Stories go in a simple manner but in few places a little bit of fantasy have been incorporated. Stories move through both direct and indirect track. Scroll painters always concentrate in each and every aspect of scroll while narrating. Narration of scroll is well maintained with good rhythm as well as lyrics. In Bengal, the scroll painting tradition   has been passed down within a family and community at large. Women have always been involved in the work but are now being actively recognized for their participating and achievements. The Social structure of Patua community[14] shown less encouragement to women painters and it is a true reflection for other contemporary artists and art forms.

   Magnificent scroll ‘Creation of the World’:

‘Creation of the World’ this scroll narrative is the creation of Dukhushyam Chitrakar, an exponent of Bengal scroll narratives art tradition. He has painted creation of the world scroll. This scroll adheres to different kinds of treatment comparing to other scrolls. This scroll highlights about the life of tribal people of East Zone of India, who belongs to the Santhals community.  This scroll narrates about their rituals, daily life and social bonding.  This scroll speaks about the creation of world. Experienced folk artists as well as eminent poet Dukhushyam is able to capture the Santhals lifestyle, their culture, myths, rituals as well as their joys and agonies.

First Panel:

A folk scholar Dukhushyam Chitrakar depicted a huge snake in the first panel.  Many incidents of tribal life were painted in this panel.  Eyes of the snake looked like human eyes, nose like human nose, even teeth resembled a rakshasa or a demon, red and huge mouth cavity gave a gruesome look.  Dukhushyam explained that many years ago, the entire globe was covered with water all around. Their main three gods invited four creatures of the ancient world. Ancient gods Jagannath, Balaram and Subhadra thought of creating the world, and therefore, they invited Snake, Crabs, Tortoise and Fish and instructed them to bring soil from the sea bottom. Here Dukhushyam painted four creatures that looked little different than real life creatures.  For instance, a crab was painted in brown colour that is a very simple depiction of dactile, chelipads, chela, carapace, anterolateral teeth, swimming legs, merus etc and nothing has been cleared. The decorated snake at the time or dorsal and ventral side reveals the snake’s character.  Tortoise looks like a funny artifacts where the two legs are painted and another two legs are missing. Tortoise is painted in yellow, pink and a black dot at the centre of the pink circle. Maximum area of the tortoise is painted in yellow colour. Some the characters of tortoise look like tiny dinocers. Fish is drawn nicely with scales painted properly but the placing of fins is not properly done. This panel is composed very tightly, wherein positive and negative spaces are given very less.

Second Panel:

Those creatures summed up huge amount of soil an earth surface created; with their miracle power gods created two cows wherein one cow is painted in grey the another one in white. From the saliva of two cows, two birds were created.  Those two birds laid two eggs’; from those eggs two children were born. They were the first human beings in the world; gods have given their names as — Pichlu Haram and Pichlu Buri. For their natural upbringings in life gods created jungle, trees and vines. Fruits grow on trees and vines slowly kept growing. Slowly, they grew up and reached the level of adolescence.  Gods provided two sickles to them. By this, they harvested some seeds from jungle grass called Shankhachaul[15] grass.  But boiling its grains they prepared a liquid which is having intoxication as well as stimulant quality. After drinking this liquid which is called haria[16], they got intoxicated as well as excited and developed a strong sexual desire. With the union of these two humans in the course of time seven children were born to them.  All were girl children, where these girls were able to walk and able to talk; the parents left the place, and the concept of family was bond not yet developed to them.   Their parents moved to another place and reached at a good place which was a pleasant place for them. They stayed there, and slowly with their second union, Pichlu Buri delivered seven more children, these were boy children only. Slowly they were grown up and able to walk and talk.  Pichlu Haram and Pichlu Buri abandoned the place.   Sans parents support, seven boys were upbringing themselves, by hunting jungle animals and plucking fruits from trees and vines.

These entire things were narrated by scroll narrator Dukhushyam explained through his narration. In reality, in the scroll surface nothing was painted thoroughly. Cows are named as Baini and Kapila, where Baini is painted in grey, looking healthy and Kapila is painted in white looking slim. One bird is painted in red, looking healthy and the  another one is painted in green, looking slim.   On the right side of the panel two transparent eggs were painted inside the   egg one thin figure is painted in brown it is boy child, named Pichlu Haram, inside the other egg a healthy figure is drawn but character which looked like a girl child, her jewelry is painted in sepia tone, named as Pichlu Buri, and both the children are painted nude. Enough breathing space is there, and a lot of positive and negative space is well maintained.

Third Panel:

In the course of the time, boys reached their adolescence, wherein these girls on the other end, may have also reached the same maturity.  One day these seven boys were roaming around the jungle busy hunting and later went for bathing. Before they divulged into the water, they removed their sacred thread which they have worn and finally got into the water. They have kept their holy strings on tree branches; suddenly one Dhamna snake[17] reached the spot and stole their strings.  The virtues of holy strings lost its purity.  They ran behind the Dhamna snake. Finally, they were able to chase it, killed and remove its skin.  Since then, Santhals[18] have disliked the Dhamna snake. Santhals sell the skin and eat the meat of the Dhamna snake. Dhamna snake or rat snake is painted in a monumental manner. Pata Chitrakar depicted every detail of this, wherein the Snake is coiled around the tree, and it is a matter of fact that tree is not painted proportionately to carry the loads of this huge snake. As a very tight composition, of positive and negative space is very rare and extraordinary.

Fourth Panel:

After bathing, those seven boys went for hunting.  Miraculously, they met seven beautiful girls in the jungle, who were plucking fruits from the vines.  Boys did not know these seven girls were their sisters.  So, Pichlu Haram and Pichlu Buri’s seven sons married seven daughters as per seniority. Marriage was performed in a ceremonial way the exchanging ‘Ichchha Mala’[19] where there is no requirement of a priest.  Five witnessed for bride and seven witnesses for the groom was to validate the marriage, which is still practiced by Santhals. During marriages, Santhals have a specialty as well as a custom ‘Drinking of Haria’ (rice liquor). On the occasion of marriage ceremony, they drink, dance and sing on the rice liquor. This panel is painted with lot of infrastructure, balance and movement. Features or characters of male and female figures are depicted with typical Santhali gesture. It a good panel where breathing spaces are there. The panel depicts nice space divisions and moreover, the positive space and negative space is also nicely adjusted.

Fifth Panel:

Newly wedded couples are having fun and frolic with unlimited drinking of haria, they are enjoying life up to the lees by dancing, singing, loving and hugging each other. May be it’s the finest moment for them.  But totally ignorant about the amount one should drink, unfortunately their father died from drinking excess of haria. Later, their mother also died of excessive drinking.  In this panel, many decorated pots are nicely arranged.  All the brides and grooms are in joyous mood because they are experiencing the ultimate moment of their new life. Suddenly a break in rhythm occurs in their life, due to sudden death of their parents. They were tensed about their parents. And even thought that their parents died because of excessive drinking of haria, they must be sinned too.  They were thinking “what can be done to cleanse their sins?” This panel is painted with multiple figures and objects, like musical instruments, cooking equipments, baskets etc. Overall this panel enjoyed much more movement as well as harmony. Big Dhamna snake and tree is painted, where snake was resting on tree branch, it took more space. In the same panel, Patua is singing about seven girls and seven boys, but practically two gents, two ladies are shown.

Sixth panel:

In this panel, Dukhushyam Chitrakar painted a valuable moment of tribal culture. Seven brothers are in serious conversation to cleanse their parent’s souls.  They have decided to perform a ritual through which the departed souls of their parents will rest in peace.  To perform this ritual, they required a Pata- Chitrakar or Patua from tribal family.  Finally, one of the brothers agreed and became tribal or Yadav Patua. Other six brothers conducted the ritual. Six brothers brought gifts for their parents.  Gold and silver for their mother and Tulsi leaf for their father. Then Yadav Patua brother painted a pata or scroll painting for their parents.  On which Yadav Patua drew eyes at the last.  It has been depicted in this panel that during the performance of this ritual, Yadav brother held a scroll.  This scroll image is segregated with few panels that is clearly visible in the last panel, called as “Chakhudaan Pata”. Likewise Yadav Patuas make Chakkudaan Pata, Jadu Pata and Ghotang Pata. Comparatively this panel is small but they are performing ritual for their parents’ soul to rest in peace forever. Patua efficiently depicted this panel and there are breathing spaces in this composition. Five women, one man figure is painted. One male figure is sitting, painted in fresh brown colour.  And all five women are painted in yellow ochre skin colour.

The Scroll- narrator Dukhushyam Chitrakar, who is a great and highly acclaimed personality, revives Bengal scroll narratives arts from the dead end situation. He thought to revive patachitra tradition from the dying and grave situation and wanted to encourage the women of our family. All the times, they helped us but our society never encouraged them to perform in public. First he stated a coaching center with fifteen students in nineteen eighties; who were married ladies as well as unmarried girls. This is the dare step that was taken by Dukhusyham. He visited many places in India and abroad.

A Remarkable Scroll is Chandi Mangal

Ranjit Chitrakar has made a spectacular painting of Chandi Mangal Scroll[20] a great master of magnificent skill as well as temperament.  This story he sings in praise of the goddess, her powers and many forms. Some of the scroll paintings also have a straight iconographic depiction of goddess Durga. Entire borders of the 40 feet in length and 3 feet in width scroll border design with numerous sequences adding much more glamour to this scroll.  Since time immemorial, it’s been the first time when Patua has brought alteration in the scroll border design from the old stereotype form.  This the first time this kind of scroll border design researcher can see where Patua brought a change from stereo type border design coming down since ages.

His narration of scroll is so heartfelt   He took eighteenth months to paint this scroll. In his Chandi Mangal scroll, he has given a concrete shape of his continuous narrative scroll.  It is a stupendous depiction where placement of various forms and figures, division of space, elements of designs, explores magnificent techniques and temperaments. The first panel can attract the attention of every audience. While he was narrating his scroll, Chandi Mangal on 3rd June 2014 in Folk Culture Studies Department, Universality of Hyderabad, and so hearty narration pulls the attention of all the audience. Painting with Patience is an enjoyable experience to create his own work of art.  Pigments, brushes, scroll panel and the patience for the step-by-step process was required to create his own work of art, beating by surmounted. Above all experience is required. Patua community had become itinerant narrators of the urban culture of that time. One such pata depicts a buxom beauty of women that is a sari beauty with numerous folds arranged in fashion that it clearly outlines the shapes and it’s attracting the audience.

The Patuas used artistic skills to amuse and inform the viewer about their place in society.  Some of his scrolls create the feeling where the paintings even draw satirical attention to the complexities of the colonial experience. “Study these closely, and one can notice every human character, gods and goddess, demons, men women dressed with typical Bengali attire. If it is Shiva- Parvati, Radha-Krishna, USA George W. Bush, France Louis the XIV or Osama Bin Laden. Each one of them has a song to sing which is uncertain because many of these works remain unattributed”.

After around eight 8th Century AD in Bengal the use of patas or scroll decreased a little bit. Then again, after sometime it came into vogue.  It was only after this time that the period saw the widespread use of patas in united Bengal, its adjoining areas and Nepal[21]. There is a particular patuas or chitrakars[22] community in West Bengal who still practice folk paintings in long scrolls. This community during medieval times was stratified within a caste system based on professional hierarchies in the Hindu society. During Mughal or Sultan rule some patuas or chitrakars embraced Islam. Many patuas of Medinipur follow Muslim culture but their wives perform many Hindu rituals. The matter of fact that this dying art and struggling artists community, which has given birth to historic Kalighat painting can rewrite history.  They need little care and support from the educated and cultured minded people of this country.  In the advent of technology, people did not pay any heed to them.  Educated young generation kept themselves engrossed in mobile, internet, whatsapp messaging. They were least bother about the cultural root of this country as well of this sub continent. Once upon a time Zaminders[23], middle class and lower middle class people of rural Bengal used to give them uniform support from the time immemorial. That is why this community never thought of to have piece of land, well constructed house, and a well organized settled life. Art was the basic priority for them and rest all was secondary. Now time has come to look at them to revive country’s lost glory. Scroll’s narrator community or Pata makers[24] are the carrier of Bengal as well India’s narratives culture. Resource centers for different tribal groups can be set up which will help the CBOs and the SHGs to study literature/reading materials, preserve the documents pertaining to their cultural heritage etc. in local languages[25]. The bilateral agencies should facilitate the tribal and folk artists so that they can take part in the various cultural festivals across the globe. This will help them to portray their skill to the people of varied geography and demography. The Universities and the Institutes should design comprehensive training curriculum on the intricacies and subtleties of tribal and folk art & culture so that the cultural activists of the future years can operate with competence for enshrining and promoting traditional art and culture in the national and international arena.


[1] ‘Myth, Culture and Personality’ by A. Irving Hallowell, an American anthropologist, aa.1947. Willey online libraryVol.49, Issue-4, on 28th Oct’091947, 544-45.

[2]  Folk paintings painted on rolled clothes or on paper supported by clothes from back.

[3]  Japanese swords made by the thirteen sword smiths who were in attendance to the Emperor Go-Toba in 1208. Online http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/ho/07/eaj/ho_25.224.htm

[4]  Chumawashi- cloth surrounding the body including ichimanji, generally the quality of the chumawshi is lower than ichimanji Upper part of the honshi( painted or illustrated scroll) is called “chu no jo”, lower part is called “chu no ge” honshi is called and right and left parts are called “ hashira”. Chumawashi with distinct Hashira, Ten (Heaven) and Chi (Earth) are attached to the scroll. The Chumawashi in this example is a light green/gold ivy pattern silk.  The last layer is to insert the final Ten and Chi, which is the solid red cloth of this scroll.

[5]  Karakusa- arabesque type of design pattern. The karakusa pattern was analysed as characteristic example of a spiral pattern. This pattern, as it appears on a Japanease wrapping cloth

[6]  Gyo Style- three levels of formality are traditionally distinguish by Japanese collectors: formal( shin ), semiformal( gyo ),and formal( so ). The formal style of display is characterize by greatest vertically, symmetry, straightness of line, and decorum. (figs. 77, 86 ), p.84.

[7]   Kakejiku or Making Japanese hanging scroll Kakejikuya’, publisher- Book Swabi ,Japan, author-Daylightfulness, 2012.

[8]  Emakimono: The Art of the Japanease Painted Hand- Scroll by Akihisa Hase, J. Maxwell Brownjohn, Dietrich Sackel, publisher- Pantheon Books in 1959, New York,p-80

[9]  Is a horizontal, illustrated narrative form created during the 11th to 16th centuries in Japan.

[10]  The stories that explain about previous births of Lord Buddha, in future He will appear in them as an elephant, a king, or as a god.

[11]   This is lord Ganesh scroll, is one of the finest examples of the florid Newari style of painting of 16th century in Nepal. Exaggeratedly swaying figures depicted against saturated deep red background.

[12]  Mention in the book written by Koram, Frank J. Village of Painters: Narratives scrolls from West Bengal. New Maxico: Museum of New Maxico Press, 2006. Print.

[13]  (Defeating Patriarchal Politics: The Snake Woman as Goddess: A Study of the Manasa Mangal Kavya of Bengal, in an Academic Journal Intersections: Gender & Sexuality in Asia & the Pacific; Nov2012, Issue 30, p3.

[14]  Folk artists community of Bengal

[15]  A kind of grass seed rice which is looking like conch shell

[16]  A Kind of liquor made from jungle grass seed nowadays from rice.

[17]  Bengali name of rat snake

[18]  This is the ancient tribal community inhabitants of Eastern zone of India.

[19]   Exchanging of sacred willing thread

[20]  Mangal- kavays (“auspicious poems”) a type of eulogistic verse in honour of a popular gods and goddess in Bengal ( India ). The poems are associated with a pan-Indian deity, such as Shiva, but more often with Bengali deity- i.e. Manasa the imaginative daughter of Shiva, the goddess of snakes, goddess Sitala,the goddess of smallpox, folk god Dharma thakur. These poems vary greatly in length, from 200 lines of several thousand,as in the case of the Chandi Mangal, Chandi the other name of Goddess Durga of Mukundarama Chakravarti, a masterpiece of 16th century Bengali literature. Online Encyclopaedia Britannica http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/361864/mangal-kavya

[21]  In Nepal chitrakars were practicing scroll till end of sixteenth century, Manavinayaka they starts with dancing Ganesh mentioned by Pal, Pratapaditya. The Arts of Nepal IIPainting.  Leiden: Brill Archive, 1978. Print.

[22] Patuas also known as Chitrakars in Bengal, Chitrakar word became Sanskritised- “CHITR” means Image and “AKAR” means having shape. Uniformly called Chitrakar means Image maker.

[23]  Land lords of India.

[24]  Mentioned by David J. McCutchion, David J.  Patuas and Patua Art in Bengal, subtitle-‘Patuas or Patikars in Aboriginal Societies’. Calcutta: Firma KLM Pvt. Ltd., 1999, p.15. Print.


[25] Gramin Vikas Seva Sanshtha (GVSS) report of Researcher Prof. A K Haldar and his team submitted to planning commission Govt. of India, New Delhi.



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  4. Pal, Pratapaditya. 1978, “The Arts of Nepal- II: Painting”. Leiden: Brill Archive.
  5. McCutchion, David J. “Patuas and Patua Art in Bengal, subtitle-‘Patuas or Patikars in Aboriginal Societies”, Calcutta: Firma KLM Pvt. Ltd.
  6. Jain, Jyotindra.(ed.) 1998,“ Picture Showmen: Insights into the Narrative Tradition in Indian Art,” Mumbai: Marg Publications.
  7. McCutchion, David J. and Suhrid K. Bhowmik. 1999. “ Patuas and Patua Art in Bengal”, Calcutta: Firma KLM Private Ltd.
  8. Maity, Chittaranjan. 2001, “Prasanga: Pat, Patua O Patua Sangeet,” Kolkata: Sahityalok.
  9. Barapanda, Deepak. 1999. “Patua Sanskriti: Parampara O Paribartan,” Calcutta: Satabdi
  10. Dutta Chattapadhyay, Sumana. 2010, “ Purva  Bharat-er Patachitra,” Kolkata: Lokosanaskriti and Adivasi Sanaskriti Kendra.


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