Glimpse of the ongoing workshop

Sumedha Chaudhury

Ranchi, Mar 22

Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, Regional Centre Ranchi in collaboration with Kalamandir, Jamshedpur is organizing ‘Workshop on Payatkar Art’ from March 20 to 24 at Amadubi – Panjiya Rural Tourism Centre, East Singhbhum, Jharkhand. The workshop is being conducted by Vijay Chitrakar and Kishore Gayen, senior Payatkar Art experts. The workshop was inaugurated on Sunday in the resence of Kumar Sanjay Jha, Regional Director, Regional Centre Ranchi; Ajay Kumar, District Planning Officer, East Singhbhum and Amitabh Ghosh, Vice-President, Kalamandir, Jamshedpur.

IGNCA, an autonomous body of Ministry of Culture, Government of India is visualized as a Centre encompassing the study and experience of all the arts, each form with its own integrity, yet within the dimension of mutual interdependence. The Centre is functioning under the distinguished supervision of Ram Bahadur Rai, President and Dr. Sachchidanand Joshi, Member Secretary. With the aim to ensure the long-term access to oral traditions, performing arts, ritual & cultural practices and traditional knowledge systems of India in audio-visual form, IGNCA has been identified as the nodal Centre for National Cultural Audiovisual Archives. The Centre has taken up efforts to create an Indian register for the Memory of the World Programmeof UNESCO, New Delhi, to inscribe documentary heritage which has been influential and have national significance. To create resource base for manuscripts for enhancement and educational purpose, the IGNCA was made the nodal agency for the National Mission for Manuscriptswith recitations of vedic schools, books, articles, etc to preserve and digitalize the manuscipts for future. IGNCA also maintains theVedic Heritage Portal to preserve vedas in its true form. NariSamvaadPrakalp, another scheme of the Centre was launched in the year 2017 to create a space and discourse on women’s studies from Indian perspective.

The Regional Centre Ranchi (RCR), is one of nine regional centres of IGNCA established in the year 2017. The Centre was set up after signing the MoU between IGNCA and Ranchi University in the presence of DraupadiMurmu, Governor and it has been functioning to study, preserve, conserve and disseminate the knowledge of the rich cultural heritage of the tribes of India. Presently, the Centre is headed by Kumar Sanjay Jha, Regional Director.IGNCA RCR is running a one-year Post-Graduate Diploma Course in collaboration with Ranchi University, where the students are provided theoretical and practical knowledge (Sastra and Prayoga) in the discipline. The course has been designed to inculcate indigenous knowledge of socio-religious, ecological, traditional customs, various art forms etc and their cosmological and cosmogonic manifestations through teaching and training programmes so that the students can carve their own niche by self-reliance in the field of Tribal Arts.

The objective of the workshop is to provide knowledge about the craftsmanship of Payatkar art form along with its socio-religious significance and tradition of the storytelling songs, to preserve and document this rich tribal cultural heritage.

In the workshop, twenty (20) participants including students of the Arka Jain University, Jamshedpur and artists from Ranchi, is being provided training. In these four days along with the painting technique, the participants are receiving tutelage on history and projection of organic colours; Santhali plot of Payatkar and depiction of the folktales; use of earthly colours and the music of Payatkar art.

Payatkar painting is a primitive art tradition practiced by the ‘Chitrakar/Paitkar’ or ‘Gayen’ community of village Amadubi of East Singhbhum, Jharkhand. Similar to the Patachitra painting tradition of West Bengal and Orissa, the scrolls of Payatkar possess narration and historic quality. This tradition has been prevalent since time immemorial and the artists have nurtured it through story telling performances and socio-religious customs.

The scrolls are of vertical form with a display of layered narration, (often beginning with introductory songs to accompany a sequence of unfolding events) these scrolls have an intrinsic flavor of local oral history. The lyrics of the songs are in an AABB rhyme scheme. The art form portrays realities of day-to-day human life, folk oral traditions, legends and mythology of the society. The tools and colours are prepared by the chitrakars. Earthly colours are naturally – yellow and red from soil and rocks, black from charcoal, green from leaves and blue from indigo plants.

The sequence of the tales depicted in the scrolls are narrated in the lyrical poetry. Customarily, this community had travelled to display their artwork and gathered narratives. The early Pyatkar paintings do not demonstrate much variety of colour or character which indicates ancient beginnings in graphical etchings of a kind. Moreover their craft tradition itself suggests a shift from engravings to natural colours and in recent history from cloth to paper.

The participants are taking immense interest to learn this unique art form and post workshop, they would be keen to popularize the same through their works, exhibitions and presentation on not only scrolls but also on cloths, apparels, coasters and other crafts.





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