Pattachitra: an art beyond comparison

Pattachitra is one of the oldest forms of artwork in Odisha. Its emergence dates back to generations ago. Often people regard its evolution simultaneously with the Jagannath temple of Puri.
This form of art is mainly found in Raghurajpur village of Odisha. It involves a lot of hard-work. The patta on which paintings are drawn is made with the help of cotton cloth, tamarind gum and white chalk. It takes around 4-5 days to make the colours that are used in the paintings. 25-30 colours are made out of 5 basic colours. Stone colours are basically used to make these many colours. The 5 basic colours are white, red or hingol, yellow, brown and black or kaajal. These paintings are sold in and outside the country such as Delhi, Mumbai London etc.
The pattachitra makers have a long working schedule working from almost 10 in the morning till 4 in the evening. Per day they get a wage of rupees 100, while their monthly salary amounts to 15000. Within these tight working hours they also face problem like power cuts. Each household in the village Raghurajpur prepares pattachitra with such exquisiteness that it leads to competition between the villagers. One has to visit the village in order to believe the authenticity of the artwork.
It is strange that even in this age, when technology is keeping most people occupied in their lives; the people of this village have dedicated their lives into making pattachitras. In some way the government’s inclination towards the growth of the industrial sector has sidelined the growth that could have taken place for the artisans of this place. Though the artists of pattachitra feel that this form of art will never lose its sheen yet if sufficient efforts are not taken by the government then it may extinct in the near future.

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