Participants learned the traditional folk art of ‘Mandana’ in an online session – ‘Making a Mandana’ by Mandana artist, Dr Shakuntala Mahawar. The session was organised by Jawahar Kala Kendra (JKK) on Zoom. It offered the viewers a brief overview of the art form, materials used, different designs and styles as well as the history of Mandana and its significance in the Indian culture.
The session began with the artist sharing a brief history of ‘Mandana’. She said that ‘Mandana’ is done on walls and floors on any auspicious occasion. Women of the house always draw ‘Mandana’ because bare surfaces are considered inauspicious. When someone dies in the family all the walls and floors are bereft of ‘Mandana’. Floor-Mandana is usually made with geometric shapes like squares, circles and triangles. Wall-Mandana comprises animal motifs like peacocks, camels, cats and elephants. The base for the folk art is made by finely grinding ‘Geru’ for red colour and ‘Khadiya’ for white. After this, the powders are sieved and a paste is prepared with it by mixing cow dung or buffalo dung and Fevicol. This mixture is then brushed across the surface.
The artist showcased various basic structures of ‘Mandana’ using squares, circles or triangles using red colour. After this, she showed different styles of ‘Chiran’, ‘Charti’ and ‘Bharti’ (filling) with white colours. She used diagonal lines, dots and circles. As the final step, she added ‘Shrangar’ (adornment) to the Mandana using ‘Jole’, ‘Kangure’ and ‘Gaathi’. She said that any Mandana is incomplete without ‘Sharangar’. The amount of white used in the art form is always more than the red. She also showed how to prepare different types of Mandana bases using yellow, black and red mud.
Tomorrow, 3 July, will be the concluding day of the ‘Making a Mandana’ online session by Dr. Shakuntala Mahawar. The session will be held at 3 pm on Zoom. During the session, the artist will draw different designs of Mandana using plywood prepared with red and black mud bases.