Naya is a quaint little village in West Bengal’s Midnapore district. However, it is not an ordinary village. Around 250 patuas or chitrakaars or artists live there. These folk artistes are painters, lyricists, singers and performers all rolled into one. They practise an ancient folk art called Pata Chitra. This is a type of storytelling using painted scrolls. The scrolls have stories painted on them and the artists sing the story as they unroll the scroll. This art has been practised since the 13th century.
     Traditionally, such story tellers took their painted scrolls from village to village. In every village they unrolled the scrolls frame by frame and sang pater gaan or the story songs. In return for their performance, the villagers gave them rice, vegetables and money. Their stories included mythological stories and tribal folklore. Nowadays the artists sing of social messages and contemporary events as well.
Naya is an old-fashioned village situated in the Midnapore district in West Bengal. The village is unique because it is the home of around \(250\) patuas or chitrakaars or artists. These artists have many talents in them - painting, writing songs, singing and performing songs. They are involved in a traditional folk art form called patachitra. Pata Chitra is the art form of storytelling through painted pictures. The pictures are painted on scrolls. A scroll is a thick sheet of paper made from plant or animal skin, used in the olden days.
A scroll.
The Chitrakaars (painters) paint stories on such scrolls and the performing artists sing the story as they keep unrolling the scroll to reveal the pictures. This art has been practised since the \(13\)th century.
An example of the patachitra!
The storytellers carried their painted scrolls wherever they went. They go from village to village, performing the tribal folk or mythological stories. In every village, they had to unroll the scrolls one frame at a time. As they unrolled the painted scenes on the scrolls, they sang "pater gaan" or the story song. As a token of appreciation for their performance, the villagers gave them money, rice and vegetables. From mythological stories, they have now started performing stories with social messages and current events.
Meanings of difficult words:
quaintattractively unusual or old-fashioned
lyricista person who writes the words to a popular song or musical
scrollthick sheet of paper made from plant or animal skin
folklorethe traditional beliefs, customs, and stories of a community, passed through the generations by word of mouth
contemporarybelonging to or occurring in the present
State Council of Educational Research and Training (2019). Term-2 English Standard-7. Naya - The Home of the Chitrakaars (pp. 126-131). Published by the Tamil Nadu Textbook and Educational Services Corporation.