Painting is a medium of visual expression. It does not always need too many colours to stand out. Mandana is one such art form of Madhya Pradesh, which does not require tons of hues to make an impact!
It is a form of folk painting created by one of the oldest tribal communities of Madhya Pradesh called ‘Meena’. The art is created on walls and floors of houses and usually done by women. This artistic form of illustration is considered a representation of good luck and a method to ward off evil spirits. The painting marks the beginning of auspicious occasions such as marriages, festivals and childbirth.
There is a particular technique to create Mandana artwork: - the wall is first coated with clay made of cow-dung and water. Later, it is beautified using white paint (khadiya – chalk solution) and red paint (geru – red clay). But with change in demand, more shades are being used to make this art colourful. There is a unique brush used in the process which is made of a date stick, a clump of hair and cotton. The focal theme of Mandana revolves around religious and wildlife elements which include gods, goddesses, flowers, plants, animals and birds.
The term Mandana is derived from the word ‘mandan’ which means decoration and in the regional language, ‘Mandana’ denotes ‘drawing’.