Village women in the Mithila region of Bihar have long decorated their mud homes with colorful images of the Hindu gods and designs associated with important life events. They learned these skills as they were passed down from generation to generation. Following a major drought in the late 1960s, members of a governmental agency encouraged Mithila women to transfer their designs to paper to be sold in handicraft emporia for much-needed income. A flourishing cottage industry resulted, and a number of the women received national and international acclaim.
In this vibrant example, the artist Shanti Devi depicts the monkey god Hanuman carrying in his palm a mountain, which holds medicinal herbs that will cure the injured brother of the hero Rama (also an incarnation of the Hindu god Vishnu). Hanuman, according to the Ramayana (Story of Rama), epitomizes the loyal, selfless friend. Here he is thoroughly anthropomorphized, sporting colorful garb and a handlebar mustache.
circles; eye; figures; patterns; rectangles; red
Link to share this object record: