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Kathakalus or gypsy storytellers troupe through villages enacting ballads from
epics such as the Ramayana & Mahabharata. The stories they narrate are
painted on scrolls that detail each scene in little rectangles. The scrolls,
that can roll out to 60 feet sometimes, are painted by the Chitrakaars
of Cheriyal. D. Vaikuntam Nakash is one of the few remaining
Chitrakaars of Cheriyal, a village in Telangana. Today,
the Chitrakaar paints shorter stories, but has stayed true to the original art.
He still paints on coarse
Khadi fabric, treated with the paste of tamarind seeds, tree gum & white clay. The
background colour of the paintings still retains the time-honoured red derived
from the locally available ingilikam stone. An empty canvas is outlined with figurines
painted with a squirrel tailed brush. The colour of the face and skin is decided by
the nature of the character, with blues for Gods & yellow for Goddesses.
Humans are coloured in shades of pink. Brown or darker shades are meant for
Demons. The colours used are derived from natural
elements. White obtained from grounded sea shells, Black from lamp soot, Yellow
from pevidi stone, Blue from indigo leaves and various vegetable dyes or ground
stones for an increased colour palette.
D. Vaikuntam, National Award Winner of the Cheriyal Scroll Paintings, exclusive to Telangana is possibly the only Chitrakaar creating these scrolls & keeping the art alive today.
Read more here https://medium.com/@aamori/unfurling-the-cheriyal-scrolls-b8ba28e59f3b
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