Explore Chhattisgarh: Craft, culture and heritage: Part 1

Explore Chhattisgarh: Craft, culture and heritage: Part 1

In this small series, we would like to share about Chhattisgarh, our native place. This is a land of folk art, craft, and indigenous culture that believes in the sustainability and preservation of heritage.
Part 1 includes the story of prominent artisans, old institutions and handicrafts.
  • Teejan Bai: Teejan bai represent the best of folk art. She is a renounced performance artist of Pandvani, a storytelling art form of Chhattisgarh. Pandvani is a ballad/ musical tale of Pandav and Mahabharat in the native language of Chhattisgarh. It is powerful to see the pandvani in the rustic and strong voice of Teejan Bai. Padma Shri and Padma Vibhushan Teejan Bai is not only a recognized female pandvani singer but one the first women artist of Chhattisgarh who has broken the societal taboo and supported gender equality through her work and dedication. Coming from a conservative family background that not really supported the stage performance to leading the tribe of pandvani singers, her journey has been quite remarkable and courageous.
  • Indira Kala Sangeet Vishwavidyalaya, also known as Khairagarh University is an institute preserving and sustaining art by imparting it to the new generation. Established in the Year 1956, Indira Kala Sangeet Vishwavidyalaya “IKSV” is situated in the Khairagarh township of Chhattisgarh State of India. A different University by its type, where higher education is imparted in the field of Music, Dance, Fine Arts and Theatre. Honorable Governor of the Chhattisgarh State is the Chancellor and Administrative cum Academic Head of I.K.S.V.Khairagarh. The then rulers of the princely state of Khairagarh, Raja BIRENDRA BAHADUR SINGH and his consort Rani PADMAVATI DEVI SINGH donated their ancestral palace to establish a University of Music & Fine Arts as a tribute to their daughter Princess ‘INDIRA’. The generous support and donations from the then rulers of the feudal state of Khairagarh also ardent lover of music and fine arts provided requisite inspiration and vision. The palace donated by them houses the foremost portion of the University, which is now one of the best examples of amalgamated architectural style. University was inaugurated on 14th October, 1956. The university offer bachelor, masters and post-masters courses in fine arts, performance art, and other heritage sustaining courses. Content reference: University Website
  • Godana and Godana Artist: Godana is the craft of hand painting done with natural color on fabric and other solid bases. Godana paintings are inspired from everyday life of villages in India. It is a traditional art form of Sarguja, Chhattisgarh. The new version of godana is actually a transformation of godana( traditional Tattoo) done on the body in the Chhattisgarh region of India. Artisans like Dilbasiya Devi and Ramkali ji are leading the group to reinvent the craft in different products range.. which varies from sarees to home decor. They also take commissioned assignment to design the wall or space with godana wall art. These experienced artists are imparting their craft to the new genre through workshops and training organized by the Chhattisgarh government. 
  • Bell Metal Craft: One of the most prominent and exquisite crafts of Chhattisgarh. The bell metal craft brings a beautiful range of artifacts inspired by culture and heritage. It is also known as Bastar art as crafted in the Bastar region of Chhattisgarh.Bell metal is an alloy made with the amalgamation of copper and tin. This metal combination produces a tough, long-wearing material that is resistant to oxidation. You can shop these artifacts in the state-owned emporium and craft curated stores.

Hope you enjoyed reading this article. In the next series, we'll be sharing about places to visit, interesting jewelry, home decor, and exquisite silk weaving.

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