Aipan is a traditional folk art specifically made by women of Uttarakhand. It has great social, cultural and religious significance and are known by different names and is in popular in many parts of India with larger variations. Kumaoni Aipan has its unique identity which is always done on the empty walls and on the ground which is a symbol of fortune and fertility. The art form is used to decorate floors and walls at the Puja room (place of worship) and entrance of homes.
The typical art is done on all special occasions and household ceremonies and rituals. It is believed that these motifs evoke divine power which brings good fortune and wards off evil. Aipan art has different names in different parts of India.
Names of the Art in different states:
• Traditionally, floors and walls are first cleaned with cow dung liquid to make the place dust proof. But now days all the houses do not apply cow dung solution due to cemented walls and floorings.
• Then one circle is made with Geru (red clay solution) on which Aipan work is done when it is fully dried.
• In the meantime, rice is taken (soaked overnight) and ground into fine paste and checked for proper consistency. The rice paste should not be too thin or too thick.
• Once the coat of Geru is dried, artisan draws the design patterns in rice paste using fingers.
Current designs are of birds, flora and fauna, water mammals etc. Even today in the hilly area of Kumaun region in the state of Uttarakhand India, many old houses display the beautiful art of carving over the window panels and highlight natural beauty in their carvings. Most of the designs consists of carvings of birds, flowers, mountains, fruits and even the human figures.
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