India is a home of various arts. Every region in the country has a different art form. The traditional arts of paintings, drawings, saris, embroideries, stitches are varied than the other. The country has such diverse and beautiful art forms that it gives recognition to the global entity. We should be proud to have these brilliant art forms and talents. But sadly some of these great arts are on the way to extinction.
The beautiful art of puppetry has existed in India for nearly 3000 years. Very few know the puppetry has many forms. It depends on the states; like in Kerala the form of puppetry is shadow puppetry, in Orissa it’s Kundhei and in Rajasthan it’s Kathaputli. But a few years from now this great art won’t exist. Very few puppetry artists are left now and some NGOs are trying to save this art though the result is negative.
The Toda Embroidery by the Toda tribe who lives in the Nilgiri hills is another great art of India. Unfortunately, this art also on the verge of extinction as only 2000 tribes are left now but they are trying hard to intact their art. These square-shaped deceptions are generally done on clothes but it’s also done on bed sheets, wallets, stoles and pouches.
It is probably the only painting in India which displayed in series and each tells a different story. The art form is originated in Anga Pradesh, present day Bihar. Earlier, the products of this art were made during the festival of Bishahari. This festival is celebrated to worship the snake god in the district of Bhagalpur and this art form was prospered during the British regime. But its popularity was faded out in the middle of the 20th century. The good thing is the Bihar government is taking an initiative to recover the art.
Naga people are expressing their culture through their crafts. They use raw items like cane, wood from the forest to make various types of handcrafts. The Naga people make some really interesting and stunning crafts like shawls, scarves, baskets, curved benches, bags etc. The people still showcase their handworks in the expos but its future is really uncertain.
India is famous for its weaving patterns across states. Parsi Embroidery has been in existence since Bronze Age. It was initiated in Iran and was influenced by various cultures such as European, Persian, Chinese and Indian cultures. The Parsi embroidered saris are known as Parsi Gara Saris and it takes 9 months to complete. But now one can see very few Parsi embroidered saris in the market which specify the extinction of the art.
Dokra crafts are made by using wax casting techniques and this has been practiced in India for almost 4,000 years. One of the famous Dokra art is the dancing girl of Mohenjo-daro. The Dokra products get world wide recognition and are in great demand. But the problem is very few tribes are practicing this art and no one has come up to save the art form.
Now only six people are surviving who are practicing this painting. The Khatri family in the Kutch area of Gujarat has been the practitioners for seven generations. But they fear it is the last surviving generation for the Roghan painting. The future generation has no interest in it and they have no patience to practice this art. The art is performed on the fabric with castor oil, paints and a 6 inch thin metal rod. The Roghan painting products are so expensive that these generally bought by the foreigners.
Mithila painting is a form of folk painting which is practiced by the women of Mithila, Bihar. The art is painted on paper, cloth, movable objects and readymade garments. The art is performed by the women of all casts and communities. The women use natural and vegetable colours to paint. The art is practiced in only one village and by very few women, so the future of this painting is in vague.
These are the most expensive saris and yes obviously it has reasons. Each sari can survive 300 years and the colour will be retained, part of the sari is designed with ikat work. The saris take 2 months to make and more than 70 days for the colouring of the silk threads and then almost 25 days for the weaving. At least 12 people work for over 2 years to make the sari. But only four families in Gujarat are now working on this art. Other few families are trying to keep the tradition alive but it is so time-consuming and complex people lost the interest.
It could be one solution if the government and the people will work together then we could save this art forms. Otherwise, in the near future these will be mentioned only on the pages of books.