It’s an ancient storytelling tradition from Dumka on scrolls of paper or cloth depicting the stories of afterlife, creation of world, legends & mythologies from Hindu epics and done using colours extracted using natural pigments.
The name ‘Jadupatua’ is derived from’ Jadu’, the community which makes these painting and ‘Pat’ i.e. scroll on which these paintings are done. These families carry the title of ‘Chitrakar’ (artist). “Chitra” in Sanskrit means image, and “kar” stands for performer. The literal translation of the word Chitrakar is image maker. They live in Nawasar village of Dumka district of Jharkhand.
The themes of the paintings are stories from Ramayana and Mahabharata, festivals and other rituals. But the most famous and important theme is life after death of man (of the Santhal). When there is a death in any Santhal family these Chitrakars go to the deceased family with a painting depicting pains of the departed soul. The painting shows the departed soul without any pupil. After getting payments, the painter paints the pupil and it is supposed by doing this the departed soul is emancipated from the grief. These artists use only natural colors prepared from plants and minerals.
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