September 7, 2018
Patachitra painters gaining momentum thanks to Rural Craft Hub
The Rural Craft Hub in Pingla set up jointly by the Micro, Small & medium Enterprises and Textiles Department and UNESCO, has attracted craft lovers throughout the country and abroad and has helped the patachitra painters, popularly known as the ‘patuas’ to become economically self-reliant.
Naya village in Pingla block of Paschim Medinipur district is the main hub of patuas, of 250 of them.
After coming to power in 2011, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has been laying special stress on the revival of traditional crafts, folk culture and music. The Rural Crafts Hubs across the State is one of the results of that revival.
The craft artisans are regularly taking part in fairs organised in different States. The patachitra paintings have become so popular that the artists are frequently going to Delhi and Hyderabad to take part in workshops on patachitras. People outside the community are also showing interest in learning the ancient art.
For generations, the patachitra painters, who are Muslims, have been drawing pictures of Hindu gods and goddesses. The patuas paint stories in a series of frames on long scrolls of cloth using natural colours.
Now though, along with the traditional patachitras, the artists are painting for various projects taken up by the State Government like Kanyashree and Sabuj Sathi. The West Bengal Khadi and Village Industries Board has set up a folk art centre where patachitras are sold along with T-shirts, hand fans, bags and umbrellas with patachitra designs painted on them.
Every year in November, the festival, Pot Maya is held at Naya village. This year, it will be held from November 16 to 18.
Source: Millennium Post