India is a rich land of cultures, colours and art forms. Every state has its own contribution to some or the other form of Art. In fact, a lot of these are recognizable but we lack some information about it. I have curated a list of nine such art forms prevalent across India.
Let us get started.
Nettipatam – A Forehead Decoration of Elephants
It is an ornament used in Kerala to decorate the forehead of the elephants during festivals and special occasions. A traditional Nettipattam is made of Copper and pure gold is plated over it. Nowadays, they are also used as wall hanging decoration item in Indian homes. A Nettipattam is a symbol of Prosperity.
Kantha – An Embroidery Craft
I came to know about this Embroidery craft while I was reading about an Army Wife Entrepreneur on Yourstory.com.
This art hails from Eastern India. The best part about it is that the threads used for this embroidery is from the old fabrics that have already undergone various washings; in other cases, Cotton is widely used for the embroidery.
Rasiya- A Folk Singing Style
It is predominantly performed in the north Indian region of Braj, situated along the sides of Yamuna River. Rasiya is mostly sung during the pre-Holi and Holi celebrations. It depicts the dance of Krishna & Radha, Gopi leela.
Kolam- A form of Drawing
So, we all know about Rangoli; Kolam is also a form of Rangoli which uses natural ingredients like Rice flour, rock powder, coloured rice powder, white stone powder, in addition to synthetic colours, used during the festivals.
Female members of the house in the southern states in India, draw such designs daily in front of their houses. Designs vary from free-hand ones to geometric ones. They are indeed a treat to one’s eyes.
Ajrakh – A Block Printed Textile Art
Traditionally, Ajrakh designs were done using natural dyes, but with time, even synthetic dyes are used. It is majorly made in Kutch, Gujrat and Rajasthan.
Ajrakh designs are inspired from Nature. Natural colours like Blue, black, red, white are widely used. This art is complicated and requires a lot of precision.You can read more about it here.
Tarpa Dance- An Adivasi Dance
Have you ever seen a Warli Painting? Did you ever wonder, what is the group called. which is shown in those paintings?
Ok, so that is a group of Adivasis performing a dance called ‘Tarpa Dance’. Tarpa dance is mainly performed in Maharashtra’s Dadra Nagar & Haveli.
Beautiful, isn’t it?
Pichhwai – A Style of Painting
This style of painting is around 400 years old. ‘Pichhwai’ is placed behind Lord Krishna’s deity form. Pichhwais are made on cloth. It comes in various designs depicting the Lord’s life and leelas. Designs showing seasons, night skies, animals, festivals and flowers are portrayed beautifully in these paintings.
Koodiyattam- A Performing Art
Again, a ‘performing art’ from Kerala. Koodityattam is officially recognized by UNESCO as a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity (as per Wikipedia).
Words will fall short for Koodiyattam, it is so diverse and beautiful! It includes dance, acting and theatre.
Koodiyattam is combination of ancient Sanskrit theatre with elements of Koothu, a Tamil/Malayalam performing art of the Sangam era (as per a lot of websites out there)
You should definitely read here to know more about it.
Haveli Sangeet- A form of Hindustani Classical Music
It is performed in front of the Lord to please him. It is widely performed by the pushtimarg Sect. It is adapted by Vallabh Vaishnav Sect.
For instance, the kirtans by the Asth Chhap (the 8 poets) are mostly performed as per the haveli sangeet. It takes into considerations various ragas, which change as per the seasons and also, as per the time of the day.
They are indeed melodious!
I learnt so much while writing this article, it makes me proud of my Indian roots and the beauty of it all. We are united by these diverse cultures.
No wonder, India is a true beauty ❤︎