Madhubani Art of India
Madhubani Art is a style of Indian painting, practiced in the Mithila region of India and Nepal. It was named after Madhubani District of Bihar, India where it originated. These paintings are done with various tools, such as fingers, twigs, brushes, nib-pens, and matchsticks, using natural dyes and pigments derived from plants, and the paste of powdered rice. There is ritual content for particular occasions, such as birth, marriage, and festivals. The paintings depict people and their association with nature and natural objects like the sun, the moon, animals, and plants. Paintings as a form of wall art is practiced widely throughout the region. They were traditionally done on freshly plastered mud walls and floors of huts, and then evolved to cloth, handmade paper and canvas. Madhubani painting has remained in a compact geographical area and the skills have been passed on generation to generation mainly by the women in the village. The content and the style have largely remained the same, keeping the ancient art form alive.
The Madhubani painting tradition played a key role in the conservation efforts in India in 2012, where there was frequent deforestation in the state of Bihars to expand roads and development. The rampant felling of trees worsened air quality all across the country. In a bid to save the environment, women and girls of the district started a unique experiment. They created Madhubani paintings on trees and saved thousands of trees in a five-kilometer area. The campaign is working wonders, the trees were spared and are now a major tourist attraction in the region. Madhubani painting has gained worldwide attention and several individual artists have received official recognition awarded by the Government of Bihar as well as National awards for their contributions to art.
“At a time when air pollution is choking residents of cities like Delhi, women and girls of the Madhubani district in Bihar have shown how creativity and tradition can be used for making our air clean.”