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Rhythms of creativity

The Tribal Mela at Gurjari, Nungambakkam, which is on till February 22, features the famous Pithora paintings, terracotta artefacts and bead jewellery.


THE DIN and dust may be missing along with the typical painted dwellings and bejewelled tribal girls in their colourful finery lighting up a dun-coloured Gujarat countryside! But the `Tribal Mela' at Gurjari captures the essential charm and simplicity of the Rathwa tribals' rhythms of creativity, which fuse inner and outer harmony in expressions of painting, artefact and jewellery.

The famous Pithora paintings are the focus of the mela as they are about tribal life.

Rich in colour and stylised imagery, the ritual paintings normally adorn the walls of the Rathwa huts.

Now being executed on cloth and paper, the vibrant artwork features the exploits of the tribal god Pithora and his consort surrounded by men and women working, farming, dancing and feasting. Beautifully delineated birds and animals, especially the auspicious horse in brilliant colours, is a prominent feature of the Pithora art blazing with blue, red and orange.

Despite the stylised human and animal forms, the paintings convey a sense of movement and deep symbolism. They are available in various sizes.

Rathwa women create terracotta pottery in basic, interesting shapes at the mela.

Terracotta chapati `tawas', flat cooking vessels and `mahua' storing water jugs are eye-catching, their inner surfaces embellished with lac from kusum flowers.

The baked clay vessels can be put directly on the oven.

Also available at the Tribal Mela are pretty beadwork jewellery, torans and artefacts.

The mela, which is being held on the lawns outside the Gurjari showroom at 12, Khader Nawaz Khan Road, Nungambakkam, ends on February 22.

PUSHPA CHARI

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