Manjusha Art

Here’s How the Manjusha Art Form began its Epic Saga

History always intrigues me. It is just so fascinating that my mind starts to wander around the former times of how it began and how things came to an official stop. The late author Michael Crichton in his words quoted, “If you don’t know history, then you don’t know anything. You are a leaf that doesn’t know it is part of a tree.”

And that is what I am bringing to the plate for you guys. Digging deep into the roots of art and our heritage here I am presenting you with another wonderful art form that is still kept under curtains, the art that is slowly parting ways from us. Here is Manjusha art with its unsung tale of significance.

The History of Manjusha Art

Manjusha art, as said, is an ancient and one of the historical arts of Anga Pradesh currently acknowledged as Bhagalpur a city in Bihar. Though accepted widely in the state of Bhagalpur, Manjusha art came to the foreground in the era of 1931-1948.

Image Credit- Outlook India

During the English era, an ICS officer W.G. Archer and his wife admired the beauty of Manjusha paintings and later a collection of this art was displayed at an exhibition in The India Office Library situated in London.

Manjusha art
Source- Sahapedia

It was a magical moment when Manjusha art started gaining international recognition but due to the rulings of the British the artisans of India could not flourish; keeping this golden art to fade in the backdrop, this art was later practiced by very few people.

The Oldest Art Form- Manjusha Art

These paintings were only illustrated by two families belonging to, Kumbhakar and Malakar communities. In earlier times, these were painted on pots by Kumbhakar and Malakar made the actual Manjusha art that was made on the traditional box structures.

Manjusha is a Sanskrit word that holds the meaning of a ‘box’ these boxes were made out of bamboo, jute straw, and paper where the devotees kept their ceremonial materials. These boxes illustrated a tale of Bihula who saved her husband from the deity’s rage.

Manjusha art
Source- World Art Community

Significance of Manjusha Art

Every part of Manjusha art has significance, the colors, the designs you name it. Pink, green, and yellow are the three core shades that depict pink for care, relation, and victory, green for nature and health, and yellow for joy, youthfulness, ecstasy, and enthusiasm.

Not just colors this art form has a mandatory theme to have a border that has a significant design.

  1. Belpatr- A leaf dedicated to worshiping lord Shiva.
  2. Leheriya- A symbol that represents the waves of the river.
  3. Mokha- A design used for decoration.
  4. Tribhuj- A symbol for showing a triangle figure.
  5. Sarp Ki Ladi- A pattern that has snakes on the border.
Manjusha Art
Source- Pinterest

Also referred to as snake paintings by foreigners, Manjusha art has a belief in getting strength and protection by worshipping ‘Bisahari,’ it is a festival celebrated on the 17th and 18th of August every year, and women praising Bisahari get a promise that their husbands will be protected by snakes.

Revival of Art

Traditional art always has a surrounding of warmth and a connection that tells us how great our history is. Mentioning such arts Madhubani and Manjusha are deeply rooted in the land of Bihar but still are a far cry from each other. Manjusha art has its own distinct ways to start with and Madhubani on the other hand is flexible.

Manjusha Art
Source- Sahapedia

Manjusha art vividly reflects the beauty of Anga Mahajana, and it also has a well-braided connection with women to empower themselves to a great extent. And it goes without saying that this splendor needs to be preserved before it starts to fade away.

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Aashvi Solanki
Aashvi Solanki
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