Although located in Nepal, Janakpur is part of the larger cultural region of Mithila, which also includes northeastern Bihar, India. Since 1989, women in Janakpur, like their counterparts to the south, have been transferring their domestic wall paintings to paper for sale in commercial bazaars and tourist shops. While Mithila artists from India and Nepal draw from a similar stock of subjects and themes, the two communities employ markedly different styles. Annapurna Devi depicts Hanuman carrying the mountain of medicinal herbs, but while the latter uses an electric palette of bright orange, pink, red, and yellow combined with fine linear details, the former utilizes warm, subdued hues and thick outlines. The Nepalese artist also represents the monkey god in a frontal, rather than side profile, pose. The repeated appearance of the damaru (two-headed drum) in the painting’s border likely alludes to Hanuman’s reputation as an expert musician.
Hinduism; religion; deities; herbs; medicine; drums; musical instruments; anthropomorphic
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