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Pithora Painting: Tribal Art On The Walls Of Rathva Tribe, Gujarat

Pithora Painting: Tribal Art On The Walls Of Rathva Tribe, Gujarat


Pithora painting is a widely followed art form amongst the Rathva Adivasi of the Panchmahal and Chhota Udepur Districts of Gujarat.


Know more about this beautiful and rich tribal art of India in the points below:

 1. Pithora is a tribal art form by origin that uses bright colours. Like in many other parts of India, it is done to celebrate the achievement and praise of the chief God, Baba Pithora (and their gifts as nature) by the Rathva Tribe, Gujarat.


2. It is believed among the Rathva people that executing the Pithora paintings brings peace, prosperity, and joy to their homes.


via gaatha

3. There is an attempt to reflect nature: a horse or a bull, which might be a vision of a God to impress Baba Pithora through this art.

A horse or a bull

4.The Head Priest of the Rathva Adivasi community, called “Badwa,” is summoned when a problem occurs in a family. Badwa offers solutions, which almost always involve the Pithora painting on the walls of the house.

5. A folklore story says that the people of the Bhila (an ancient Indian tribe) Kingdom had once forgotten to laugh. So, their prince, Pithora, went through terrain on horseback and brought back laughter from the Goddess Himali Harda.


via sahapedia

6. Pithora then became the supreme deity of every tribal household. It became almost mandatory for every house to represent Pithora Devta (God) on walls (thus, Pithora painting).


via wikipedia

7. The first wall of the house is the right place for a Pithora painting. It is considered a three-wall thing. So the first wall and the other two walls are planned for this painting.

8. The walls to be painted are first coated with mud and cow dung by the unmarried girls of the family and then painted with chalk powder. This process is called “Lipna”.

Pithora Painting

via openart

9. Then, painters begin their work. Natural ingredients such as leaves, flowers, stones, rice, and milk are used as colours for Pithora painting.

10. Usually, the painting process starts on Tuesday or Wednesday by the Pithora painters, known in their native tongue as “Lakhadas”.

11. Pithora paintings also indicate the changing seasons, an essential factor for a community that for long has relied on nature and agriculture for their life and livelihood.

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12. The main characters of Pithora paintings are a series of horses that represent the main Pithora God. The focus is seven horses enclosed in a rectangular fence, representing the Hills of the area where the Rath has stayed. The wavy line in the painting portrays the River Narmada.

13. “Akho” and “Ardho” are the two forms of Pithora painting, differentiated by the number of horses painted.

14. In the Akho style, the whole painting usually has 18 celestial horses which are ridden by riders.

15. In Ardho style, there are 7 horses without riders, except for the lead horse ridden by Baba Ganesh.

Bhuri (a Pithora painter) used this enriched folk art as a medium to break the patriarchal boundaries and stand on her feet. She also received the prestigious Padma Shri Award to preserve the traditional art form, further taking it to the world stage through her efforts.

Blog Edited By Ritika Gupta

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