Article on folk art of Mithila and Madhubani
by Dr. Ram Dayal Rakesh
Mithila is an ancient and artistic land on the map of Nepal. Her artistic history is very glorious, glamorous and at the same time golden. Her ancient capital Janakpur is the living museum of magnificent arts and crafts. Mithila art focuses on favorite subjects like various gods and goddesses. In short, it is mainly religious in nature. According to one Scholar:
"For three thousand years, Maithil women have painted the mud walls of their homes with scenes of legends of Hindu gods and goddesses. The art was temporaray, however, because the images were erased when the walls were washed."
Horizon : The magazine of the Arts, June 1985
Shashibhushan Chaudhary is also of the same opinion:
"The Bhagawata refers to the Maithilas in general and says that they were skilled in the knowledge of the artman."
Shashibhushan Chaudhary: Ethnic settlements in Ancient India part I. From time immemorial the women painters of Mithila have practiced the tradition of floor, doors and thresh hols paintings known as Aripan or Aipan on different festive occasions and domestic ceremonies.
It is almost impossible to trace out the origin of Maithili art, however, it is evident from the excavations and explorations at Murtia (in Sarlahi Dist.), Simrauntgarh (in Bara Dist.), Dhanushadham (in Dhanusha Dist.), Matihani (in Mahottari Dist.) and Jaleshwor (also in Mahottari Dist.), that images of various gods and goddesses are made of stone.
Folk Arts of Mithila can be studied in the following categories:
- Clay modeling and potteries and Terracottas
- Handicrafts, such as 'ski'
- Wood work
- Making garlands
- Making lac bangles
- Making ornaments
- Making bamboo articles
- Doll making
- Color making
- Bhitti Chitra or wall painting
- Kohbar painting
- Cloth Making : Weaving of cloth has been the oldest occupation of the Maithil people. The yarn is made with "Charkha" which is very popular in rural areas. The Brahmin and Kayastha women prepare sacred threads for sacred thread ceremony with the help of it. They also make pillow covers, page (head dress), bed sheet, turban, purse, sari border and skirts and bags etc. They do very attractive embroidery on them. These hand made clothes are given as dowry at time of marriage and second marriage. This art is considered as a special qualification for a marriageable girl.
- Utensils Making Art : People of Mithila make many type of utensils which are used in day to day life. They are generally made of soil and iron. They are made of all metals and are very durable. Their handless are generally made of wood. They make beautiful designs on them. They also engrave images of birds, gods and goddesses out of religious feelings.
- Folk Paintings : these paintings are very pretty and made on walls, ground and floor. They are made for the beautification and sanctification of ground, courtyard and threshold. The rural woman folk of Mithila draw and depict mythological stories figures and images on the auspicious occasions of marriage ceremony and other festivities. The wall paintings are prevalent and popular in almost all areas of Mithila with certain modifications and variations. They are drawn and depicted on outer and inner walls of the house. They are also drawn on the walls of the room in which the newly married bride and the bridegroom live during marriage ceremony. They are supposed to celebrate their honey moon in that specially decorated room which is called 'Kohbara'. This painting is very popular in Mithila which is meant for increasing the sexual fertility of bride and bridegroom. Maithil women paint the kadamba tree, tank, the sun, flowers, the moon, Rahu, Navgrah, palanquin, tortoise and fish and peacocks.
The Aripan is the most important folk art. This tradition of line drawing is very old one and is drawn on the auspicious occasion of Pooja, Parva or Varta and at the time of different sanskaras. Since Vedic period they have been decorating Yagya Mandaps, Vedikas and floors artistically with the help of rice-powder or wet-rice, red- sindur (vermillion), Haldi (yellow turmeric) etc. The design may have tantrik background.
4. Clay modeling and potteries and Terracottas : This art of pottery making goes back in the age of the great epic Ramayan. People used to make potteries and painted them in various colors. The village potters of Mithila make the clay toys for children and pots for daily use. These are very useful for the entertainment of the children and domestic purposes. They are also good for household goods and religious pots. 'Purhara' and 'Patila' are the most pious pots made for Pooja purposes. They are painted tastefully in different colours by women-folk of Mithila. Life-size images of Durga, Saraswati, Lakshmi and other gods and goddesses are made on different occasions for worshipping them. Earthen pots of different sizes and shapes, cups, dishes, kalasas (Pitchers), deeps (Lamps), Borasi (fire perserver), chulhi (oven), Kothi (for storing grains) and Mata-kuda (for preparing curd), these are the fine example of the pottery and clay-modeling. Thus, the housewives shaped the clay images of the Hindu derties for worship on diverse occasions. When they observe fasts for their family and children’s well being, prosperity and longevity."
-Dr. Subhashini Aryan : Rural and Tribal Arts. Their significance : P.16
- Sikki Handicrafts : The rural women of Mithila prepare aricles of golden color out of Sikki grass. Sikki is a typical grass of the Mithila region. It is found in abundance during the monsoon. When it is dried, it is used in making many varieties of trays and baskets. These are called Sikki ash tray, Sikki penstand, Sikki pauti, Sikki Mujela etc. They are very useful for house holds purposes. The woman-folk take great care in admixing the different colors and using them in Sikki-ware. The Sikki ware is more or less the creation of the Maithil women. There is another type of flat grass which is called Munj. Munj work is also very magnificent art work useful for every house. There is slight difference in shape, designs and symbols between Munj and Sikki work.
- Wood-work: Wood works are done by carpenters of the Mithila region. They are very useful for all houses whether made of mud or brick. They are not only useful but very artistic. They are made on the occasion of religious ceremonies. They are made of wood. Carpenters carve very beautiful design on it. Cots, chairs, almirahs are made of it. They are very useful for daily life. Now-a-days, T.V. case and book shelves are also very costly. Shop show cases are made by it and they make it very artistically. Plough, carts, tables, spinning wheel, sindurdani (vermillin-box) etc are made of wood with help of carpenters.
- Art of making garlands : The capital of ancient Mithila Janakpur is famous for various varieties of flowers. Flowers are found in abundance in all villages of Mithila. They are very scented and sheet. Males are expert in making garlands of flowers. They are made for the purpose of offering them to the favorite gods and goddesses. Maithil people are fond of making garlands and rosaries. The main flowers which are used in garlands making are Marigold, Bhalsari, Madhuri, Malti, Rajnigandha, Beli, Chameli and Rose. Garlands of various types are made on the various auspicious occasions. Devotees offer different types of garlands to their favorite gods. These garlands are made very artistically. Garlands are made and offered to all gods and goddesses because they are considered to be pleased by offering them. Now-a-days, garlands are exchanged between brides and bridegrooms on the occasion of marriage ceremony. They are also used for welcoming guests and guests of honors. They are needed on all auspicious occasions. People of Mithila are expert in making garlands and they are excellent.
- The art of making Lac Bangles : The people of Mithila are famous for making beautiful bangles. Lac is found in Mithila everywhere. Bangles are of many types such as Lahathi (simple bangle), Tisiphool (bangles of marriage) and Kangan. They make Maithali women beautiful. They are meant for beautification of the women-folk of Mithila. Now-a-days, modern bangles made of plastic are also available but bangles made of Lac are original and attractive.
- Matting : People of Mithila use mats made of mostly Mothi and Patera grass. There are many types of mats such as Sitalpati, Patiya, Chattai etc. Sometimes they have yellowish natural colour and sometimes they are colored in red and green and yellow. They are used for sitting and sleeping purposes. They are good for summer season.
- Tattooing : This folk art is done for decorating the human body especially the skin. The people of Mithila have fascination for this skin fashion. Women- folk are fond of this. This is called Godana in the local language. They engrave on their arms, legs, hands and chests etc in black designs. This is engraved with the help of needles and it is very painful. In olden days, it was considered symbol of women-hood (suhag). Really it was very pain taking process. But now with advent of machine the tattooing process has become easier than before. These designs are generally of geometrical shapes (square, circle, vindu etc), flowers, creepers, small birds and animals etc.
- Art of making ornaments : This is the oldest folk-art of Mithila. This folk art can be divided into two main types - silver and gold ornaments. Women folk are fond of ornaments. Goldsmith makes these ornaments of silver and gold. Poor people use silver ornaments where as rich people use gold ornaments. The main ornaments which are made from silver and gold are Aunthi (ring), kangan, Bala, Bajuband, Josan, Pachua, Nupoor, Mangtika, Jhumka, Karnphul, Chandrahar, Haikal, Hasuli, Nathia, Bulaki and Ananta. Gold ornaments are engraved with great labour and they are very expensive.
- Making Bamboo Articles : This art is of great use in house-making, boat-making, fighting, storing, basket-making, book-shelves, ladder-making and machan-making. It is considered as a sacred tree. It is symbol of prosperity. The climate of the Mithila region is well-suited bamboo cultivation. It is very pretty and is a popular motif in traditional maithil paintings of sparrows or tigers in bamboo groves. It is also an integral part of Maithil life, as a decorative plant in building material and numerous kinds of utensils for daily use. Many wind instruments are also made of bamboo. The artistic semi-circular 'Jafari' made of bamboo is a common art. Sometimes articles made of bamboo are sold at a very high cost because they are very beautiful decorative arts. Especially in Mihtila, the green bamboo and its branches are used in making the bridal mandap ( canopy ).
- Doll making Folk Art : In every village of Mithila the folk women usually make the dolls for both the sexes. Kanya-Putara (the name of doll especially made for children in Mithila) have special charm for the children. The only torn cloth and bhushi (husk) are used for making dolls. It requires a very little capital and technical skills. Black thread is used in making dolls. It is the source of entertainment for children. These interesting dolls made by maiden girls are sent with them when they are married. They also learn practical life from these delightful and descent dolls especially made for amusement of children.
- Colour making Art : Making different colors is very useful art because they are used in many things. Men and women in Mithila are fond of color because they consider that wearing white cloth is inauspicious. They make colors in their own ways. They draw Aripan art on the floor and colout it with sindur, powdered rice made into paste with water and vermillion. They make various colors out of flowers.
- Bhitti Chitra Wall Painting : Paintings are done on house walls on the auspicious occasion of Mundan i.e. shaving of the head for the first time when the child is more than one year old. They are also executed on the holy occasion of many important social celebrations like sacred thread ceremony and marriage ceremony etc. They are also depicted to welcome an honored guest. Favorite subjects are various gods and goddesses, peacocks, fish, elephant and palanquin porters. They are also drawn on the walls of a corridor or of the Gosain-Ghar where the tutelary god is worshipped. There are also floral patterns, birds and animals and ereepers. And even on mud walls, one can see huge paintings on mythological subjects like the Krishna legends.
- Kohbar Paintings : Exotic, intricate and exuberant paintings are painted inside 'Kohbar' the bridal chamber at the bride's home where the newly married couple resides for at least one week. The couple celebrates their honeymoon in that tastefully and beautifully painted room. There are many symbolic images like the lotus plant, bamboo grove, fish, birds and snakes in union. They represent fertility, sexual ability and proliferation of life. They are drawn collectively by the ladies of the bride's family and those of the locality in the nuptial chamber only on the special occasion of marriage ceremony. In the whole Mithila region, there exists an age-old tradition of doing wall-painting in the nuptial chamber of the bride.
Symbols used in Kohbar Folk Art :
All the symbols used in the Maithali Folk art have their own significance. The elephant, horse, palanquin are the symbols of royalty and richness. The sun and moon represent for long life. The goose and peacock are symbols of welfare and calmness. Paan (betel leaves) and lotus symbolize good luck. Bans (bamboo) is the symbol of future progeny.
"This Kohbar painting is very famous in Mithila which is meant for increasing the sexual fertility of bride and bridegroom." ; Shrivastava. According to Archer; " The outer walls of the kohbar are full of paintings of rural life such as Palkiwith Kahar( palanquin and its carriers, shady fruit trees, mango, banana and dancing peacock). They also depict love-scene of Lord krishna with Gopies and his constant companion Radha."
Mithila art is original in nature. It is an ancient, an indigenenous and traditional one but it is getting modernized day by day. So its market value is increasing gradually. Consequently it is exposed to the outer world. This modern aspect of Mithila art is beautifully and tastefully depicted on t-shirt, tea mat, ashtray, paper stand, bags and baskets of different size and shape. It is also painted on pillow covers, bed sheets or covers, table cloths and on many household wares. It is also becoming a suitable source of income. Though this is called crafts and becoming means of foreign exchange. Credit goes to the women of the Mithila region because they are the patrons and promoters and also protectors of this ageless art tradition. This is priceless property of this precious piece of art which must be protected by all means because all art forms are practical and symbolic expressions of cultural intelligence. They carry a passive burden of assumed or inebriated knowledge and an active burden of conscious knowledge which is intentionally communicated.
This unique highly traditional art can be divided into three main categories. They are :
Kohbar Art: Kohbar is a very typical Maithili word which means Suhag raat (honeymoon). Newly married couple enjoys it in a magnificently decorated room during the first night of their conjugal life. This occasion is very important in their life. So, they want to spend it very artistically decorated room. Various sexual symbols are painted on the walls of this room to increase the sexual stamina of the couple. It also inspires them to play sexual game for whole night. This kind of art can be called very erotic in nature. The women artists of Mithila paint this art to increase sexual passion and fertility in the couple to a great extent. They compose a lotus flower symbolizing lingam (Phallu) penetrating yoni (vagina) surrounded but mythological symbols. Every marriageable girl of Mithila is supposed to be expert in this art because it's their qualification. They learn it from their mothers and elderly women of their families. It has been handed down from generation to generation. There is no academic school or institute for learning this art. This is also considered a pre-requisite condition for a marriage girls. Sometimes they send it as a marriage proposal to their would be husbands. After marriage also it is send as a valuable gift to her husband's homes.
Lydia Aran writes about this art in the following lines : -
"The Kohbar, painted on paper by a girl is sent by her to the boy of her choice as a marriage proposal; it is painted on the walls of bedroom to ensure fertility; on the paper used for wrapping gifts during courtship as a proof of a girl's accomplishment in the traditional art and on the walls of the house for magic protection."
-Lydia Aran : The Art of Nepal P 184
The second kind of Mithila art is called Aripan. Aripan is like Alpana in Bengali Culture, Kolam in Kerala culture, chowk purna in Bhojpuri, Punjabi and Haryanabi culture and Sathia in Maharastrian culture. It is also like Likhnu in Himachal Pradesh, Rangoli in Uttar Pradesh and Mandana in Rajasthan, etc. It is a magical and mysterious circle which is drawn on the floor to purify and sanctify the particular land for worshipping purpose. It is ritualistic art which is depicted on various occasions. Mithila art is mainly ceremonial art. So it is done on the auspicious occasions like Batsartri (worshipping of Bat tree which is the symbol of long life), Nagpanchami (worshipping of Nag (snake)), Satyanarayan Bhagwan Puja (worshipping of Lord Satya Narayan). It is also painted on the floor on the occasion of sacred thread ceremony and marriage ceremony. So it is rightly called ceremonial art. It has been compared to the Tibetan Mandala art and it is deeply influenced by tantricult. It is the outcome of meditation and yogic experience of the Mithila women artists. Lydia Aryan has also thrown light on this kind of art :
"The Aripanas are drawn on ritually prescribed occasions, on the clean swept ground of the courtyards or inside the house. Ideally, the design of an Aripana should be revealed to the lady artist as a result of meditation and general yogic experience. In practice the details of the various Aripanas are learned by girls from matching the work of their mothers, grandmothers and other female relatives and neighbors."
--Lydia Aryan: The Art of mithila p185.
The third category of the Mithila art can be called religious. It is religious in nature because it depicts many mythological lores and legends. Krishna and Rama and various gods and goddesses are depicted on the canvas and papers. They have religious flavor in them. Sometimes it draws Kali and Shakti two female goddesses along with - Lord Shiva. The Sakta cult is very strong in the Mithila region. So Mithila art is deeply and highly influenced by the Hindu religion. The Ramayan, the Mahabharat and Bhagvata Gita are the perennial source of Mithila. Women are mainly very religious minded and they draw artistic figures of their favorite gods and goddesses on the floors and walls of their houses. Art is inseparable from religion. Maithil artists dedicate their talent and skills to God. They used to meditate long before creating a sculpture or painting and transfer their spiritual - aesthetic vision to virtual.
Lydia Aryan, has compared Mithila art with the pretty paintings of Picasso in the following lines :-
"Visually, the drawings and paintings of Maithila bring to mind the paintings of Picasso. They share much with other types of 'primitive art' but are clearly distinctive in their thematic and symbolism." - Lydia Aran : The Art of Nepal P 166
Colours used in the Mithila Art : The women artists of Mithila use different local colors in their paintings. Generally, they use bright and brilliant colors which make their paintings very pretty and at the same time very attractive. They use bright red, yellow and black colors. These colors are frequently used which are very natural such as black from the soot, red from the local clay and yellow from petals of flowers. They prepare vegetable colors from different flowers, fruits, barks and roots of the gum prepared naturally from the Babul tree is mixed in the color for durability.
Black is generally obtained by lamp soot. It is easily dissolved in gum water. A light brown colour is obtained by mixing cowdung and gum in fresh water. The bark of the Pipal tree is dried in the sunshine and then boiled in water till it yields a pink color. Blue color is obtained by crushing the berries of a wild herb. It is called sikkar in the local language. The juice of herb is collected in a cup and dissolved in gum arabilum and thereafter it is filtered through cloth. Dark green is made from the leaves of the Siam creeper and parrot green from the sepals of the Gulmohar.
These colors are used according to their imagination and vision. They also sometimes use water color mixed with rice powder (which is called in local language ‘’sindur” ( vermilion)). Housewives of Mithila are very wise and their minds are very fertile. They are also custodians of the Maithili art. They use bamboo splint. Mostly they use their fingers while drawing these pretty painting for several years however. They use different acrylic colors and brushes for paintings.
They mix local colors extracted from the goat milk or the juice of bean plants. Generally, they do not use brushes, but they applied the color with a piece of raw cottons or lint attached to the end of the bamboo splint. They prepare their brushes by wrapping cotton around the end of the twig or match stick.
Lydia Aran has also rightly observed about the use of colors in the Mithila paintings in the following lines :-
"The older women may still use only the traditional three natural colors : black from the soot, red from the local clay, and yellow from carnated pollen, but other organic and mineral colors are increasingly coming into use today : indigo for blue, arsenic for yellow, red sandalwood and iron oxide for red and their various mixtures. The powdered colors are diluted in gumarabicum and water."
-Lydia Aran : The Art of Nepal P.186
She has also thrown light on the use of brushes by the Maithil women artists in the following lines:-
"For brushes the lady artists use bamboo sticks, bundles of straw and cotton. When made on paper, the paintings usually come in 2'6"×1'9" size. As murals their size depends on the size of the wall."
-Lydia Aran : The Art of Nepal P. 186-87.
Mithila Art as a medium of women's empowerment:
Today this art has been exposed to the whole world. Its market value has been increasing day by day. It has also been modernized due to the concept of globalization. The women painters are not applying their indigenous knowledge only in the four walls of their houses but they are exposed to the outside world. Now-a-days, Mithila paintings are depicted on handmade papers and clothes by modern brushes and acrylic colors. They are also very sentimental towards their daily life activities, fairs and festivals, rites and rituals. They want to capture unforgettable moments of rituals, festival and social life.
"Ritual ceremonies, cycles of seasons, fairs and festivals lent an additional color and richness to their otherwise drab lines. The day to day swinging community life enjoyed by the rural folk as well as their tribal Kinsmen go a long way to render their lives meaningful by filling them with laughter, gaiety, cheerfulness- all these factors have a definite bearing on all their creations, be it painting, image-making, singing or dancing."
-Dr. Subhashini Aryan: Rural and Tribal Arts: Their significance P.14.
Now allow me to throw some light on Madhubani art
There is no basic difference between Mithila art and Madhubani art. Now Madhubani art is also called Mithila art but Madhubani art is famous in the whole world. Madhubani is a district of Bihar of neighboring country India. Some parts of Mithila fall in the Indian Territory and some parts of Mithila also fall in Nepal. The whole Mithila region is called Mithilanchal.
Madhubani literally means 'Forest of Honey'. This is also called traditional art. This art dates back to the 7th century. It has been there from very ancient times. It is very folk in nature and structure originated from the Mithila region especially Madhubani village of Bihar. Hence it is also called Mithila paintings. Madhubani (Mithila) paintings are originally done by the women-folk of the Kayasth and Brahmin community. The technique of doing is passed down from mother to daughter. These paintings were initially done on walls which were coated with mud and cow dung. Mud means 'Piriya mati' (yellow mud). Another form is also the Aripana or Aipan which is floor paintings. Initially, rice paste and natural colors are used and mixed in it. Natural colors like those obtained from flowers, leaves, burnt grains and turmeric were used. The brush was a twig cloth or cotton wrapped around one end now a days to make these painting popular, they are drawn and hand-made paper which are sometimes with layer of cow-dung to give the same effect to the colors as the wall paintings. Now-a-days, in addition in natural colours, many artists use poster colors as well.
Sita constant consort of Lord Rama was from Mithila (Janakpur was the capital of Mithila), one finds that episode from the Ramayan is most common. The subject of Radha and Krishna is also very common. Some other popular themes are from the Mahabharat. Gods and goddesses are like Ganesha, Shankara, Lakshmi, Saraswati and Durga. Bird motif is also freely and frequently used. Like peacock and parrot. Animal motif like elephant, tortoise, horse is also very popular. In short, flora and fauna and wild life inspire these folk artists to a great extent. Traditionally there are special paintings which are drawn and depicted on several occasions like poojas and weddings. The paintings which are drawn on the auspicious occasion of marriage ceremony are cold Kohbar. This is depicted artfully and artistically on the walls of the nuptial chamber. kohbar is very popular motif depicts a highly stylized form of the lotus sapplings. Other main motif like fish, parrot, tortoise, the sun and moon are also painted around the lotus plant as a symbol of fertility. The striking features of Madhubani paintings are the bright colours. It has a special stylized forms and the themes inspired by mythology and day to day life. The colours used are flat with no shades. The figures mostly have the head in profile but the body is front facing. Generally a double line is drawn for outlines with gap in between, which is filled with straight or cross lines.
Madhubani folk art, in short, is the medium of expressing the inexpressible. Its focal point is the image. Images in stone, clay as well as wood. It is embellished with colours tempered with man's knowledge of his surroundings. These images were, so to speak, the shapes of their desires. It gave a defenite structure to their craving for religious upliftment and security in god and divine powers.
Madhubani art's main inspiration is religious. It expresses an unconditional thankfulness to the divine bodies. A tribute to God's omnipotence and the blissful nature are the chief characteistics of Madhubani art. Madhubani art is not just pretty drawing, but a lot more. It is expression of folk legend, which the deeply religious minded simple villagers turn to pray in their daily rituals.
"The erstwhile detached little hamlet of Madhubani situated in North Bihar has now metamorphosed into a bustling colorful marked town, yet modernisation, materialism and the plastic arts are light years away from the intrinsically tradition oriented society in Jitwanpur. The creative village folk continue to flourish spreading their colorful wings on the threshold of their cozy little huts. On the walls of their dwelling, of lines furnishings and drapery. Here, the art of Madhubani, is the common man's way of attaining God guided by his sense of aesthetics of beauty."
-Shila Yadav : The Madhubani P.8
It is an Endeavour to focus immortality and purity, using one's own mortal hands. The dwelling should be kept clean, plastered with sacred cow dung. The lady of the house then traces out an Alpana (rice powder drawing of floral patterns) on the threshold. Holy water is sprinkled all over the precincts. They also offer handpicked fresh flowers to the presiding family deities.
The images drawn transport one into that elevated state are based on age old scriptures and epics. The vedas, puranas, the Upanishads, the Ramayan and the Mahabharat, they are also seeped into the environment, the tress, the animals, the birds, fish and plants. "These images also exist in the universe and its creators : the sun, the moon, the earth, the stars and other celestial bodies."
They also use one all time favorite the sun, the giver of life on earth Surya devata as it is reverently called the sun is regularly worshipped every time it rises or sets.
"An element of environmental beauty is introduced by a refreshing deluge of floral and wild life motifs, sunflowers, lotuses, trees, leaves and creepers convey the mute glory of the flora -n- fauna, tigers, elephants, tortoises, peacocks, peahens, fishes and other wild life present alternate forms of life. And in that they represent the alternate forms of God."
-Shila Yadav : Madhubani P. 9.
On top of that it reflects a body of beliefs, myths, and passions. It is a whole hearted, full throated and unabashed exhibition of creativity. "The creation and recreation of these enduring images is the Madhubani artistic ways to embark on an intimate journey to the Gods. That is the art of Madhubani, full of innocence, yet so full of life, utterly simple yet so full of meanings." P.10.
Conclusion: - The mud walls of rural homes share most of the pictorial elements described above. The thresholds are daily decorated new with impressive ornamental, but traditional artistic and cultural heritage has remained alive till the present time.
"Different in content, varying in approaches, but when it comes to reaching out to their divine deities they share the same media the same motif, similar lines and similar colors." This is crystal clear that our centuries old profoundly symbolic patterns all over India.
"In this respect, the rural craftsmen were by no means different from their counterparts working under the royal patronage. It has often been stressed by many a writer that rural arts are the creations of untutored hands. Those who write like this only display their ignorant of the facts. The craftsmen living and working in the countryside are illiterate in the modern sense of the term, but they are not completely unlettered in the traditional sense."
-Dr. Subhashini Aryan : Rural and Tribal Arts : Their Significance : P.14
There is similarity in the drawing of theme between Mithila and Madhubani art. Artists paint their favorite gods and goddesses. They draw the heart rending scene of exile of Rama, Sita, Lakshmana. They also depict the eternal love play of Krishna with his beloved Radha. Hanuman monkey god is also painted as a loyal devotee of Lord Rama in their paintings.