Rajasthan’s Mandana paintings suffer due to increasing urbanisation

PTI | | Posted by Akanksha Agnihotri

Once a popular folk art, Mandana designs that used to adorn mud walls of homes in rural Rajasthan are quickly disappearing. Reason: The rapid urbanisation with the construction of concrete houses. Mandana designs are mainly drawn on mud smeared walls with white lime liquid called “khadiya” by rural women on auspicious occasions like Diwali, Holi, birth and wedding ceremonies. The designs include pointed stars, six-petal flowers, lotus and swastika. (Also read: Mandana paintings: This artist is struggling to keep the tradition alive )

Sita Devi Sharma (85) says the folk art that was once used to decorate walls and doorsteps disappeared as people started constructing concrete houses at her Talwas village, around 30 km away from Bundi.

There is hardly a single Mandana painting drawn on house walls in the village now as locals have constructed concrete houses and buy wallpapers and wall paintings for decoration, says Sita Devi’s son and village development committee member Mulchand Sharma.

Another Mandana artist, Bhagwati Saxena of Bundi too expressed disappointment over the disappearance of the ages-old art form. Fortunately, the art is still surviving in remote rural areas where concrete houses are not being constructed, she adds.

However, there are some women artists who are trying to preserve the art for future generations.

Koshaliya Devi Sharma (81) of Baran city has painted over 140 Mandana designs on wooden boards, of which 100 were preserved by the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) in its central library.

Koshaliya Devi also sang folklore attached with various Mandana designs and these were recorded by INTACH for its collection.

Besides, she has also set up Rajasthan School of Mandana Art, where at least 26 women are currently being imparted training under the supervision of Koshaliya Devi.

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This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.

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