Writing a New Chapter to Their Half Stories..


Patachitra are paintings made on palm leaves. They are created using a sharp tool to engrave the drawings and then color in filled in. These paintings are limited to religious and folk themes. The Gita Govinda composed by Jayadeva is one of the popular themes in the traditional patachitra paintings of Orissa. Other themes are inspired from the Mahabharata, the Jagannath cult, and Vaishnavism.

The art has been unique to the Raghurajpur artist's village, near Puri. Every family in this village has devoted their life to this art form. Every generation in the family, learns and practices this skill and passes it on to the next generation. They spend days together to make a perfect, flawless Pata, making intricate patterns and designs. They even make the colors they use. The art, therefore, is their way of life. It is their main occupation.

But these artisans do not get their labor’s worth. Though their art is widely appreciated on an international level, they are suffering huge losses and living in near poverty. The middlemen in the market sell their works in tens of thousands while giving them much less than half of the price. Good trade can be possible if these middlemen are not involved, and buyers and sellers make deals directly.

Promotion of art tourism, and this culture unique to Odisha, through exhibitions in national and international trade fairs, can give the artisans more recognition. If interested amateurs could be given workshops and formal training, then the spoken word would bring many audience and connoisseurs to Raghurajpur. We could get inspiration from the chinese who use their skills to create and beautify things and do business out of anything seemingly mundane.

The people behind DoRight have taken upon the task of completing their Half Story. They have come up with the idea of creating a website for Pata chitra, where every family can put up their patas for sale, and the buyer can directly contact the respective artist. It will help grow the virtual public in this age of e-shopping. This idea will surely see a rise in the number of interested customers.

Hope their Half Story gets completed soon.Watch their Story here.


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