Palm Leaf Etchings - Ancient craft of India

One of the antique crafts of the world, etching and paintings performed on the palm leaf till now blossoms in the state of Orissa in India.

One of the mainly antique crafts of the world, etching and paintings done on the palm leaf till now blossoms in the state of Orissa in India. Popularly known as Talapatrachitras there, the art has been able reach new height. The palm leaf etchings are cherished decoration of the entire Indian home.

The art did originate when written communication started. Messages and manuscripts were printed on the palm leaf to be circulated. Steadily the tendency to decorate the text along with images initiated and it developed into an art in itself. This ethnic art were one of the most esteemed ones there and is adapted by the artists chiefly in Puri and Cuttak.

The cultural art form fundamentally consists of inscribing letters and inventive designs on palm-leaf, typically cut into standard sizes and apprehended together with two wooden plank covers stringed in the course of a hole in the center. To set up the palm leaf, the fresh leaves of the palm tree are initially cut and semi dried. They are then buried in swamp for 4 to 5 days for seasoning and then dried out in shade. These are then stitched or stringed simultaneously as per the requirement. Sometimes they are stitched subsequent to the etching is completed.

Etching is finished within lines by the use of an iron pen on leaf strips. A paste prepared of bean leaves, charcoal prepared of burnt coconut shells, til oil and turmeric is then rubbed on the etching in order to highlight the figures. Colors are barely used in this area, whatever is in use as fillers and in very restrained tones. Vegetable along with mineral colors are used for painting.

The artists of palm leaf etchings incarcerate the themes of mythological incident, figures of Gods and Goddesses with fine points of hair style and dress, animals, flowers and trees and many more Radha ,Krishna, Durga, Ganesha and Saraswati are the most frequently used themes. Tales and incidents of Mahabharat, Ramayana and other epics are as well etched. The paintings and drawings in addition present exceptional beauties of nature.


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