Pattachitra: Untitled


The Bengal Pattachitra is a visual and oral art tradition practised by the Patuas or Chitrakars of West Bengal. They earn their livelihood by telling stories from Hindu Mythology, local folklores, Sufi tradition and contemporary themes through paintings and songs. The unfolding or playing of the Pata is called ‘Pat Khelano’, and the song through which the divinely painted narratives are sung is called ‘Pater Gaan.’ This flows in 3 stages – the kahani (story), the mahatmya (glory), and bhavita (introduction).

This is a pattachitra depicting the day-to-day life of the Santhals, a tribal community from Eastern India.These type of patas are also known as Chakshudan Pata or Jadu Pata, and the artists who create them are commonly called Jadu Patuas. These painted scrolls are closely linked to the tribe’s belief system and its diverse rites and rituals surrounding both the living and the dead. In a way, they also serve as a guide on community morals and values.

According to Laltu Chitrakar, a Bengal Patua artist based in West Bengal’s Naya village, the Santhal patua artists would originally come here from the Bihar and Jharkhand states to sell their paintings, and the Bengal Patuas would then assist with their purchase.

This Pattachitra is created by Monimala Chitrakar.  To read more on the Bengal Pattachitra, click here.

Pattachitra: Untitled
Monimala Chitrakar
Pigments on paper pasted on cloth
H: 71 cm x W: 28.5 cm
Accession No.