Ritual Motifs And Clay Design
Swirling designs are worked out on main entrances of the houses. In these designs each line ends in stylistic swirl. Satiyas (Swastikas) are made and spirals are reliefed into empty spaces. All motifs bear local names. Those who are cultivators draw Hal (plough) and
Bakkhar (leveler) on the front walls of their houses.
Mandana is a decorative art. On festive occasions like Holi, Diwali,
Dussehra and Nag-panchami women first give a finish to the floors and mud walls with cow-dung, and then draw traditional Mandana designs characteristic of the region. y The paint is prepared by mixing Rati (colour made out of red earth) and
Khadia (chalk) in water. Haematite is employed to heighten the effect wherever necessary.
All these designs are embellished by Bharvan (space-filling) devices. The figures employed to this effect are Laddu (ball), Tipki (dot) and Laharia (waving lines). The Gonds and Bhumia tribes also practice decoration through Mandana type of motifs. When lagan (wedding) is performed the design of chauk is drawn on a seat with ochre (geru mati).This figure is basically a cross surrounded by circles.
The striking art of Sanja displays the imaginative sense of Malwa girls. During the month of September when
Shradha Paksh starts, young maidens make designs on mud walls with cow-dung. Each day the pattern is changed and it continues to change for a full fortnight. Cow-dung lines are decorated with flower petals and panni (tin foils). The
Sanja figures represent a set of fifteen designs in which each and every piece of pictograph shows the imagination of girls and purpose with which they are led to draw them.
The sixteenth day of the Sanja festival is supposed to be the concluding day for the
Sanja motif. The importance of the day is maintained with solemnity and a big design is worked out called
Kalakot. The Kalakot is entirely representative of all the Hindu customs. Every inch of the space is used and many unrelated details are drawn. The human figure is symbolic in representation.
In Bundelkhand during the Diwali festival the pictograph of Sureti is made on a white smeared space of wall. The figures probably represent Lord Vishnu and his consort,
There are other figures like Nag and Nagini, the sun and the moon etc. This form of art is very crude. It simply indicates that the purpose of such figures is not to produce an exact imitation of the objects, but to retain traditional associations with them through their suggestive drawings. The Mai Mata (old mother) with a loaded bullock-cart and the
Bherum (one of the mythological deities) of Malwa and Nagji, the serpent god, subsequently called
Jireti in Nimad are some of the ritual figures worth notice.
In Mandla, an Agria (village smith) use a bamboo tube for making coloured patterns. A bamboo tube is first drilled with several holes. Then it is filled with turmeric powder (yellow), wheat flour (white) and gram flour (orange). After this, it is rolled for drawing designs over the ground. The mixed flour emits out from the holes making different kinds of patterns.