The Art & Craft # Kumaun | Uttarakhand India

The Art - Aipan

  

  • 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. Uttarakhand Aipan painting 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. 


  • This art is done on floor over brick red background,else ochre(Geru) is used along with white paste made from rice flour. 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.


The Craft - Kholi

  

  • The houses in the Kumaun region, Uttarakhand India, mostly hilly areas have the carvings on their doors, windows and ceilings which are adorned in a simple and gorgeous style by the artisans.


  • Artists here are skilled in capturing beauty of Kumaun and displaying then through the craft of wood carving, but this craft is on decline. Few decades ago, carving on the main entrance door was considered a status symbol. At that time, it was part of social status, family which had more carving over the doors was wealthier & had high status in the society.


  • 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. 

   

Different Forms of Aipans

Aipan on Door Steps

  

Doorsteps of the house are decorated with beautifully designed decorative aipan with great aesthetic value. 

The door steps are decorated with this type of aipan in combination with ‘the vertical lines made by dripping the ‘biswar’ which is a rice floor solution made by soaking the rice and then grinding it which is used for drawing aipan.



Swastik

  

  • It is drawn in some form or other during most of the religious rituals as swastik in Hindu mythology represents all Gods and Goddess,all known or unknown. 
  • Swastik is the symbol of marching ahead for success, towards success with success. If someone does not have the knowledge of the occasion specific Aipan, Swastik is religiously accepted as substitute. Swastik represent the creation and progress. 

  

Acharya Chowki


  • During marriage ceremony ,the groom is always accompanied among others by his own Pandit or Acharya. A special chowki is made for The Pandit/Acharya as he is given more prominence than even the father of the groom. 
  • A Swastik is made on it with red colour. The lotus and other auspicious symbols such as a bell, a conch shell etc.


Dhuli Arghya Chowki


  • Twilight in India is called “Godhuli Vela” or the time when cows return home from the pastures. For weddings, the bridegroom’s side also arrives at the bride’s house at “Godhuli Vela”. In earlier days, the bridegroom’s entourage usually walked to the bride’ s place and so they arrived with dusty feet. Since the groom for this period represents “Narayan” God Himself, hence he is greeted with devotion and his dust covered feet are washed before the puja welcoming him begins, this practice is even followed today. 
  • He stands on a “Chowki” or small stool on which is painted a tree like figure with three branches coming out on the top.

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