July 8, 2020
Tradition

Mandana paintings

Mandana paintings are wall and floor paintings of Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. Mandana is drawn to protect home and hearth, welcome gods into the house and as a mark of celebrations on festive occasions.

Village women in the Sawai Madhopur area of Rajasthan possess the skill for developing designs of perfect symmetry and accuracy. The art is typically passed on from mother to daughter and uses white khariya or chalk solution and geru or red ochre. They use twigs to draw on the floors and walls of their houses, which are first plastered with clay mixed with cow dung. More tools employed are a piece of cotton, a tuft of hair, or a rudimentary brush made out of a date stick. The design may show Ganesha, peacocks, women at work, tigers, floral motifs, etc.

In the Meena villages of Rajasthan women paint not just the walls and floors of their own homes to mark festivals and the passing seasons, but public and communal areas as well, working together and never leaving individual signatures.

Famed for warding off evil and acting as a good luck charm, the tribal paintings are derived from the word ‘Mandan’ referring to decoration and beautification and comprises simple geometric forms like triangles, squares, and circles to decorate houses.

Though Mandana art has seen a drastic drop in visibility and has less of takers among villagers due to the rise in the number of concrete houses, the art still holds the rustic charm, and its paintings adorn walls of patrons. According to experts in the Mandana art form, the traditionally drawn designs bear architectural and scientific significance.

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