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Special Jhoti for Manabasa Gurubara - ସେରବସା ପାଇଁ ଝୋଟି

The folk art of Odisha is bound up with its social and religious activities. In the month of Margasira (ମାର୍ଗଶିର), women folk worship the goddess, Lakshmi. It is the harvest season when grain is thrashed and stored. During this auspicious occasion, the mud walls and floors are decorated with murals in white rice paste or pithau. They are called Jhoti or Chita and are drawn not merely with the intention of decorating the house, but to establish a relationship between the mystical and the material, thus being highly symbolical and meaningful.

Folic painting in this tradition survives till today in all its pristine freshness. Throughout the year, the village women perform several rituals for the fulfillment of their desires. For each occasion, a specific motif is drawn on the floor or on the wall. For instance, in Lakshmipuja a stack of paddy or rice sheaves is drawn on the walls structured like a pyramid.

To draw a Jhoti or Chita, the fingers are dipped into the rice paste and made to trace out intricate patterns on the floor or walls. Sometimes a kind of brush is prepared from a twig to one end of which a small piece of cloth is attached. This is dipped into the white rice paste to draw patterns on the wall. At times, the paste is sprinkled on the walls with delicate swishes of demisting, sad a pattern resembling bunches of paddy emerges on the wall.

We have collected some photographs of Jhoti (ଝୋଟି) from a village during Margasira Manabasa Gurubara (ମାଣବସା ଗୁରୁବାର) which were taken on the 1st Thursday of Margasira.

* All these photographs are taken by one of our frined at her village.

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