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Patachitra of Odisha and Jagannath Culture by Anita Bose, Book Review

Patachitra of Odisha and Jagannath Culture by Anita Bose

Book Review

In every corner of India there exists numerous indigenous art forms hidden under sands of time. Search for them as desperately as a mother would be looking for her lost child. Don’t stop until you find them and showcase them for the world to see.

Swami Vivekananda to Sister Nivedita

Patachitra

Patachitra of Odisha and Jagannath Culture by Anita Bose

The heritage village of Raghurajpur, located near the pilgrimage of Puri, is one such numerous art centres of the country. Raghurajpur is famous for the ancient art of Patachitra.

The book Patachitra of Odisha and Jagannath Culture by Anita Bose explores the story behind the patachitras of Raghurajpur. The book is the culmination of Anita’s two decades of nurturing her creative pursuits.

Anita’s book not only deals with the details of patachitra but also provides the details of its connection with the Jagannath Culture.

The book starts with the origin of the name of heritage village of Raghurajpur and then moves on to the representation of Jagannath Culture through different forms of patachitras.

The book elaborates the chitrakar (artist) community of Raghurajpur providing the details of the artist hierarchy, which is solely based on the skill of the artist. The author goes into further details providing a correlation between the surname and the type of art work done by them. The details of the patachitra painting, which replaces the deities of the Puri Jaganath Temple for the 15 day sabbatical break every year, have been expressed in every possible details.

Probably the most interesting part of the book deals with the details of equipment used by the patachitra artist. The making of the pat or the canvas have been described in utmost details and the details of the paint brushes are also been explained.

Anita

Anita Bose

The extraction of the organic colours from natural sources have been explained to the minute details.

The thematic classification of the patchitra has been done in different categories followed by several other sub categories.

However a tree like classification chart would have been more user friendly to the readers. This also holds true in the case of a family tree of a leading chitrakar of Raghurajpur. A few charts and tables could have made the book more interesting. The enormous volume of data collected by the author could have been accessed by the reader in a more user friendly way.

The later chapters of the book concentrates on the economic value of the art. It narrates the sad tales of the of the artist, who were once under the mercy of the middleman. After a long struggle and with help from state and central government along with other independent bodies the Raghurajpur artist are no longer under the mercy of middleman.

The book continues with the further details of Raghurajpur patachitra comparing with other patachitras of different regions and also with other folk and contemporary art. Finally the book ends with the new art forms like palm leaf engraving, bamboo mat painting, stone and wood curving and paper mache toys and mask.

About the author: Anita Bose, an artist herself, presently works at the National Museum in Bangkok, Thailand. She holds a diploma in Appreciation of Indian Art and Ramkrishna Vivekananda Movement from Kavi Kulguru Kalidas University, Nagpur and have worked extensively with the Raghurajpur artist for almost two decades.

Book Details:

Title: Patachitra of Odisha and Jagannath Culture

Author: Anita Bose (original book in Bengali) translated into English by Subhankar Bose

Publication: Gangchil

Pages: 111

Price: Rs 450

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