Mithila - Arts

Mithila Arts often wrongly is called "Madhubani" because the Art was found flourishing in the Madhubani district of Bihar. The real name is Mithila Kala of Madhubani district. During festivals and celebrations, women decorate their homes by drawing distinct patterns on the walls, ceilings and floors of their homes. This region has been exposed to many religious influences, thus buddhist and tantric imprints on local motifs are visible. It was in the sixties, due to natural calamities, that the idea occurred to transpose the art onto paper, so that the paintings could be taken to other states and sold to gather Relief funds. There are different designs for each occasion and festival - birth, marriage, holi, suryashashti, kali puja, durga puja, etc. Apart from their decorative purpose, they also constitute a form of visual education from which one learns of one's heritage. The beauty of Mithila Arts lies in their painstaking detail. The painting done on handmade paper which has been rubbed with cloth dipped in a mixture of water and the residue obtained from sieving cow-dung. The paper is then left to dry which makes it firm as well as free from insects. The brush used is a cotton-tipped-broomstick dipped in colour pastes obtained from natural sources like the leaves of beans, leaves of mango tree, grass, parijat flowers soaked in water, mehndi mixed with water of cowdung, skin of pomegranates and oranges. The resin which is collected from the mango, neem or babul tree is mixed with water and added to the natural extract to make the colours thick. The resin also makes the colours fast and gives them a shine.