Friday, 22 July 2011

Ritual practices in mithila painting

Mithila is an historic seat of Indian civilization where ancient ritual practices have survived for centuries. Maithili men have long been known as priests and scholars. At the same time, women have long been specialists on the floor- and wall-painting associated with a vast array of ritual practices. Thus when performing the samskaras, the rites of passage or initiation across the life cycle, Maithil Brahmin, Mahapatra, and Kayastha women use their fingers dipped in pithar, rice paste, to draw elaborate geometric and floral diagrams known as aripan, on mud- and cowdung-plastered floors. Each of the several dozen rituals has its own distinctive aripan.

Marriages involve numerous ceremonies and rites over a several year period, and are consummated on the fourth day of the second wedding in an internal nuptial chamber, the khobar-ghar. This room is decorated with wall paintings of protective gods and goddesses, and a kohbar – an elaborated lotus pond, an icon of fertility, fecundity, and prosperity. Wall paintings are also traditional near the gosain-ghar, the shrine of the family deity situated in a corner of kitchen. On the sacred day of Durgashtami, the eighth day of the festival honoring the goddess Durga, both walls flanking the kitchen door are richly painted with images of Durga astride her lion. During marriages and festivals the outer walls of houses of many different castes are also frequently embellished with protective and decorative motifs as well as mythological figures and scenes.

1 comment:

  1. Respected Ramkumarji,


    I would like to join your hands.
    Need to talk to you, if possible share your contact number(

    I am from Simra (Jhanjharpur).


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