8.1. SAORA PAINTINGS
Why in news?
Recently, it was reported that the demand for Saora paintings of Odisha has been rising in international and domestic markets.
• Saura (also called Saora or Lanjia Saora) are one of the tribal communities who inhabit remote ranges near Bansadhara River in southern Odisha.
• Saora Paintings are traditional murals (made on walls) and are locally called as Idital and the painters are known as iditalmar.
• Features of Saora Paintings –
o They are painted with figurative patterns and figures which are drawn in stylized manner.
o Each painting has a rectangular frame and has icons of deities and motifs from nature.
o Purpose of the painting – to please Gods and ancestors, averting diseases, promoting fertility, honour deceased etc.
o Central theme – Idital is a house which is represented by a circle. The figures are placed in panels like circles, triangular around the Idital.
• Process of making Saora Painting
o Before painting the walls are cleaned and smeared with locally available red soil and the rice paste is applied as white colour. The Iditalmars follow a stringent ritual by eating one meal a day for 10-15 days till the painting is complete.
o For paintings, a brush is made from a bamboo split, black color from soot generated from the lamp. Sun dried rice powder for white, all these are mixed with water and juice from roots and herbs to make a paste.
Why in news?
• Kerala State Commission for the Protection of Child Rights registered a suo motu case in connection with the Kuthiyottam ritual.
• The Kuthiyottam ritual has been under scanner for violating child’s rights and not taking child’s consent into account.
• Kerala State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (KSCPCR) banned the ritual at Chettikulangara temple in Alappuzha district in 2016 citing violation of child rights.
About Kuthiyottam Ritual
• The Kuthiyottam ritual is usually performed every year during the Pongala festival at the Attukal Bhagavathy Temple in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala.
• Nearly 1,000 young boys undertake a seven-day penance before Pongala day. These boys are said to represent the wounded soldiers of the goddess.
• The boys have to observe strict discipline and stay inside the temple for seven days. They are made to wear thin towels (thorthu).
• They have to sleep on the floor, have measly meals and bathe three times a day. They also have to prostrate 1,008 times before the deity
• The ritual also involves piercing the child’s side with a small hook and knotting a thread through it to symbolise their bond with the Goddess.
• This ritual is performed at various temples all across Kerela. It is also called choral muriyal in several parts of the state.
8.3. MADHAVPUR MELA
Why in news?
Recently, the famous Madhavpur Mela saw its first-ever cultural integration with the North-East.
About the Mela
• The Madhavpur Mela is an annual event at Madhavpur Ghed of Porbandar district in Gujarat.
• Madhavpur in Gujarat has its historical identity as a place where Lord Krisha married Rukmini.
• Madhavpur Mela shares its connect to the Mishmi Tribe of Arunachal Pradesh. The Mishmi Tribe traces its ancestry to the legendary King Bhishmak and through him to his daughter Rukmini.
• During the event, a jatha (group of people) of 150 people from North-East will visit the Mela as representatives of Rukmini’s family.
8.4. NABAKALEBAR FESTIVAL
Why in news?
• Recently, the President released Rs 1,000 and Rs 10 commemorative coins on the occasion of Nabakalebar festival.
About the Festival
• This festival is symbolic recreation of wooden forms of the four deities at Jagannath Temple, Puri. Naba means new and the Kalebar is body.
• In Jagannath cult, there is a periodical renewal of the wooden forms of Jagannath, Balabhadra, Subhadra and Sudarshana.
• The soul or the Brahma is transferred from the old idols to their new bodies in a highly technical prescribed and secret method.
• The Nabakalebar festival is observed in a gap of 12 to 19 years.
• During this festival the annual Rathyatra becomes the Nabakalebar Ratha Yatra.