Since ancient times, India has been a pioneer in exploring the world and discovering the secrets of the universe. This series celebrates some of India’s fascinating heritage, and helps us learn what we must preserve so that humanity and nature can keep growing.
India has always been a land of storytellers. In Part 2 of this series, let’s learn more about the incredible storytelling traditions of India.
Have you ever wondered what the oldest storytelling tradition of India is? One such tradition is of the telling of the Ramayana using paintings. Pattachitra, a style of cloth-based scroll painting with origins in eastern India, has been used since ancient times to tell the story of Ramayana, along with visuals, songs, and musical instruments. The bright, natural colours of Pattachitra (generated from plants and minerals) mesmerize audiences as they watch the performance. This India Post stamp from 2008 depicts a scene from the Ramayana in the old Indian Pattachitra style of painting.
Which is the oldest painting genre of India? The Warli painting genre, which dates back to around 10th Century AD, is one of the oldest painting genres of India. It originated as tribal art in western India. Warli artists use their clay huts as the backdrop for their paintings to seek the continued benevolence of gods. Using simple geometric shapes such as the circle, triangle and square, the tribal artists depict various scenes of daily life like hunting, harvesting, dancing, weddings and sowing using natural colors such as rice flour. This stamp was issued by India Post in 2012, featuring a Warli-decorated tribal home drawn on the background of a red mud wall.
About the writer:
Briti Deb is a storyteller telling stories about everything from the possibilities of ancient astronomy to the deciphering of ancient symbols. He enjoys writing articles, conducting workshops, and exhibiting in museums about heritages that, if preserved, might inspire fresh thinking.
Follow Briti on Twitter: @britideb
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