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Chittara is an autochthonous art practice. It is a ubiquitous cultural phenomenon of the Deevaru community – a matriarchal and an agrarian community of nature worshipers, residing in an around Sagar. It is engaged primarily by the Women folk of the community as a socio-cultural practice, which embodies a microcosm of socio-cultural dynamic.
Nestled in the ranges of verdant western ghats of North Canara lives Deevaru community. Chittara drawings are intricate patterns, that represent the auspicious ceremony and rituals of life, symbolized in geometric patterns. This requires a certain understanding of ratios and proportions, which the women of the community have been using with great dexterity. This folk art was and still is a part of their day-to-day life. It was never a profession, but a practice that has artistic and socio-cultural value.
The paintings are usually 2 – 3 feet in size, aesthetically refined, made of symbols representing their physical environment. They use eco-friendly natural resources like ground rice paste for white colour, roasted rice for black, yellow seeds (Gurige) red earth and the brushes are made up of Pundi Naaru. For women of the Deevaru community Chittara paintings are a source of great joy, beauty and creativity. They are proud of their tradition, socially bonded and culturally integrated by unique customs and ritualistic practices.
Our speaker for this edition of B·Heard, Geetha Bhat elaborates on the wealth of artistic workmanship that holds eternal value. Amidst the urban landscape, the treasures of handicrafts like Chittara will certainly provide enriching relief in our daily life.
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