Art forms that need an audience

We, the people of India have come a long way. With integrating and imbibing other cultures and rediscovering some old traditions as well, but some of our heritages and history lay forgotten. These majorly involve art forms and cultures; economic crunches have left the artist/artisans to harness other skills, pushing them out of their generation long traditions. India’s art and culture heritage is rich and diverse and these dying art forms need revival as much as they need appreciation and promotion.

Some art forms include:

Rogan Painting- Although, the origin of the art form can be traced back to Persia however, this cloth printing is practiced in the Kutch District of Gujarat, India. The fabric is painted with boiled vegetable dyes using a Stylus (6 inch metallic rod) for painting or a metal block for printing. Once, this 300-year-old art form was being practiced over a wide region across Kutch, now it has been reduced and localised to a single family in the area dwindling on its last leg for survival.

Manjusha Paintings- It is a folk tradition art form of India from Bhagalpur, Bihar. This ancient art form has been in existence since the 7th century but now, is battling to stay above waters. It’s the only art form that is displayed in series, each depicting a story within it. Originally the product were only produced during the Bishahari festival as a tribute to the snake god. This folk art form flourished during the imperial rule but has lost its footing in the 20th century. Albeit, the Bihar government is making an effort to revive the art form as well as, patent it as the Bhagalpur folk art.

Parsi Embroidery- They are a part of India’s diverse textile heritage. This was almost extinct due to the rise of mass production and machine embroideries, if not, for the sudden surge of interest in the embroidery the art would have sunken into the abyss. The most common form of this embroidery is the Gara sarees, which uses various motifs to depict nature. An embroiderer takes nine month to produce a Gara saree, due to the delicate and intricate art.

Warli painting- These are primarily known for their basic design with use only two colours. It is named after the Warli tribe of the Western Ghats of India, in the 2500 BCE. They were original meant for decorating walls, of the mud houses, during harvest or weddings. The artisans used rice paste mixed with natural glues to make the white colour that is then used to paint the simple brown mud walls to form an enhanced contrast. Now, however, it is available on paper and several other forms. The painting aims for a simplistic tribal design having an in-depth meaning. This ancient art form, perhaps originated in the 10th century, although they share grassroots with the Rock Shelters of Bhimbetka, in Madhya Pradesh (between 500 and 10,000 BCE).

Dokra Art- This is a 4000-year-old art form that have origins in tribes from Chhattisgarh, it uses the non-ferrous metal casting method using the lost-wax casting technique. The most famous specimens of the Dokra art is the Dancing Girl of Mohenjo-Daro. Although, these products have a fonder demands in domestic and foreign markets but, the art is hardly sailing because of the lack of support and promotion.


Why the art form is gradually dying

Rapid industrialization and modernization are to share the blame for the declining artist/artisan. Easy global accessibility to everything , so the traditional art form is being overlooked.

The production cost of producing these handcraft product is more than the machine products. Handcrafted products need skilled labourers, but machine can mass produce in bulk making them cheaper. 

Also, the artisans are worried that the future generation don’t have the patience or are hardworking enough to master the craft. Thereby gradually decreasing the handcrafted products supply.


Social media can be a means by which these art forms can thrive, all the while promoting and building awareness regarding them. Many Indian textile industries do use these handcrafts in their fabric and thus help in promoting these artisans, but complete recognition and revival is still far ahead. Our strong and vibrant culture cannot wither away, they have been passed from one generation to the other and we are proud of our luscious heritage, so much so that we must ensure that the craft sustains for generations.

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