India is the land of art and crafts. Every region in India has an art to show and tale to tell. The folklore and mythical stories are represented in carvings, painting, sarees and more. These art forms represent the true diversity in India but sadly, due to the boom of machines and technology, many of these arts are on verge of extinction. The pressure of expensive materials and falling demand has taken a toll on these indigenous crafts. Let us read about some of the dying arts of India
1) Manjusha paintings
Manjusha, a folklore of Bihula-Bishari is an art form that consists of a series. Each of these series represents a story. This art form was originated in Anga Pradesh which is now known as Bihar.
People also refer to Manjusha paintings as Scroll Paintings. The main colours used in this style are pink, green and yellow.
This art form was at its peak during the British rule but, in the 20th century, this art form started declining. Luckily, the state government has realised the threat it faces and is working towards popularising it again.
2) Rogan Paintings
Rogan is the technique of painting on fabric, crafted from thick brightly coloured paint made with castor seed oil. The Roghan painting is almost an extinct art now. Only by 6 surviving people in India knows this art at this point and is sustained by two families in Nirona Village.
The craft ceased to exist when the village community started using other mass-produced textiles as a more cost-effective alternative. The Roghan paintings are very expensive and the buyers for these are mainly foreigners. The fact that the art has lost appreciation among the natives of its own country is saddening and the reason for its decline.
3) Mithila Paintings
Mithila Paintings are popularly known as Madhubani paintings as they are developed in the Mithila region of Bihar and Nepal. These paintings consist of complex geometrical and propagate thoughts, hopes, and dreams.
For many years’ villagers have used these to decorate their walls. The colours that the artists use in Madhubani paintings are generally developed from plants and other natural sources. These colors are often bright and dyes like lampblack and ochre are used to create black and brown separately. The artists do not use present-day brushes for Mithila Paintings. Instead, they use objects like twigs, matchsticks, and even fingers to form the paintings.
The mention of this art form can also be found in Ramayana.
4) String Puppetry
Puppetry has existed in India for over 3000 years. It used to be one of the most famous source of entertainment among kids as well as elders but started to decline over time due emergence of other entertainment mediums such as television and radio.
There are so many forms of puppetry that we are not even aware of today. The most well-known are Kathputli (puppet theatre) native to Rajasthan and Shadow puppetry in Kerala but while puppetry enjoys such variety of forms, its demand has declined. There are very few individuals and dedicated institutions to promote and propagate the art.