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I am collecting Indian Heritage and culture related vintage postcards, paintings, prints etc. and exhibited them at several locations across India in various events and also sharing them with school and college children by giving presentations to them on Indian Heritage and Culture with my collections and also documenting puppetry etc. intangible performances.

Saturday, 23 March 2013

Palm Leaf Paintings of Orissa

Palm Leaf Paintings

One of the most ancient crafts of the world, etching and paintings on the palm leaf still thrives in the state of Orissa in India. Called Talapatrachitras there, the art has reached new heights there. The palm leaf etchings are treasured decorations of all Indian home.
The art originated when written communication began. Messages and manuscripts were written on the palm leaf to be disseminated. Gradually the trend to decorate the text with images began and it became an art in itself. The ethnic art were still one of the most respected ones there and is practiced by the artists primarily in Puri and Cuttak.

The ethnic art form essentially consists of inscribing letters and artistic designs on palm-leaf, mostly cut into standard sizes and held together with two wooden plank covers stringed through a hole in the center. To prepare the palm leaf, the unripe leaves of the palm tree are first cut and semidried. They are then buried in swamps for 4-5 days for seasoning and the dried in shade. These are then stitched or stringed together as per the need. At times they are stitched after the etching is complete. 

Etching is done within lines using an iron pen on leaf strips. A paste made of bean leaves, charcoal made of burnt coconut shells, til oil and turmeric is rubbed on the etching that highlights the figures. Colors are hardly used in this are, whatever are used as fillers and in very subdued tones. Vegetable and mineral colors are used for painting.

The artists of palm leaf etchings capture the themes of mythological incidents, Gods and Goddesses figures complete with details of hair style and dress, animals, flowers and trees etc. Radha and Krishna, Durga, Ganesha and Saraswati are the most commonly used themes. Stories and incidents of Mahabharat, Ramayana and other epics are also etched. The paintings and drawings also present excellent scenes of nature.

The above text courtesy on Palm Leaf paintings from the website of  odisha.gov.in 

Palm Leaf Painting and Etching

Palm leafs have been used since very early days of civilization as a medium of written communication. Dried palm leafs are stitched together to form booklets or long pages and they are scribbled on with a sharp metal pen. Slowly, over a period of time, illustrations were included along with the text and that eventually evolved to a full art form. Colors, derived from vegetable dyes, charcoal and other natural products are used to give vibrant colors to the paintings.

The skillful hands of master artists produce unbelievably intricate pictures on palm leaves. This art form today is much respected and still practiced in may places. They can be seen prominently displayed and traded in the lanes of Cuttak, Puri, Raghurajpur and Chitrakarashi.

The above text and image courtesy from the blog of Mr.Tanmay of Bangalore, Karnataka  http://elusive42.windforwings.com/2009/07/bhubaneswar-wall-paintings-art-and.html  with his permission. Mr.Tanmay has a great blog on Indian Histry, Heritage and Culture which is a very worthy blog. Mr.Tanmay thanks for sharing very valuable information on various aspects of Indian heritage etc. through your great blog of elusive42.windforwings.com.

In  my collection i have a book on Palm Leaf Etchings of Orissa written by noted research scholar Shri Durga Prashad Patnaik. This is my book on Palm Leaf Etchings of Orissa.

Also in my collection i have one Miniature Sheet issued by Indian postal department on Jayadeva and Geetagovinda.

Jayadeva (Oriyaଜୟଦେବ, (Bengaliজয়দেব) Sanskrit जयदेव) was a Sanskrit poet circa 1200 AD. He is most known for his composition, the epic poem Gita Govinda, which depicts the divine love of Krishna, an avatar of Vishnu, and his consort, Radha. This poem, which presents the view that Radha is greater than Hari, is considered an important text in the Bhakti movement of Hinduism. Jayadeva was born to a Hindu Brahmin family.

The Gita Govinda (Oriyaଗୀତ ଗୋବିନ୍ଦ, Devanagari: गीत गोविन्द) (Song of  Govinda) is a work composed by the 12th-century poet,  Jayadeva, who was born in  Kenduli Sasan near Puri in Odisha. It describes the relationship between Krishna and the gopis (female cow herders) of  Vrindavana, and in particular one gopi named Radha. This work has been of great importance in the development of the bhakti traditions of Hinduism.

The Gita Govinda is organized into twelve chapters. Each chapter is further sub-divided into twenty four divisions called Prabandhas. The prabandhas contain couplets grouped into eights, called Ashtapadis. It is mentioned that Radha is greater than Krishna. The text also elaborates the eight moods of Heroine, the Ashta Nayika  in its verses, which over the years has been an inspiration for many compositions and choreographic works in Indian Classical dances.

The above text courtesy on Jayadeva and Gita Govinda from the website of wikipedia.org  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gita_Govinda

This Jayadeva and Geetagovinda miniature released by Honorable Chief Minister Shri Navin Patnaik of Orissa (Odisha) State on 27th July, 2009. This is the Jayadeva and Geetagovinda miniature sheet release function photo.

Post Master General Yasodhara Menon (Left) and Hon'ble Chief Minister Shri Navin Patnaik released this special miniature sheet on Saint Poet Jayadeva and Geetagovinda at Bhabaneshwar on 27th July, 2009.

This is Jayadeva and Geetagovinda miniature sheet in my collection. Also i have a set of 10 maxim cards on Jayadeva and Geetagovinda in my collection. These maxim cards prepared by Sri Hemanth Kumar Jain of Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh state.

In my collection i have some Palm Leaf paintings of Orissa. I got them from Orissa state.

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