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The return of Patachitra

by Ananya Mahapatra

Patachitra is one of the most ancient handicrafts practiced in Odisha. This art-form is known for its intricate details as well as mythological narratives and folktales inscribed in it. It dates back to 5th Century B.C., when it was used to adorn and embellish the Lord Jagannath temple in Puri. It is still practiced in the nearby village of Raghurajpur where every family in involved in this beautiful craft.

The most interesting fact about this art-form is that the canvas on which the painting is done is made up of cloth. Another feature of this art-form is that from the ancient times, only natural colors and products are used, still they are made in such a way that they can survive decades without fading.

It is an old dying Indian art. The artisans involved in this handicraft are suffering a lot. So, some designers have taken Patachitra as an inspiration to incorporate this art-form into their designs and collections. Designers like Kumar Guru Mishra and Reemly Mohanty have showcased their collections where they have used Patachitra in their designs.

This art is now used in sarees, dresses and even on high-end couture pieces. People have also started accepting this. As a result this craft is on being saved from getting extinct and a lot of innovations are made in the existing craft. Now, the artisans are also getting a chance to continue the same occupation and earn their livelihood.

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