Folklore Stories by Manjusha Art

India is a country full of folklore and festivals. One such unique festival called “Bishahari Puja”, celebrated in the state of Bihar – represents a unique art form which called “Manjusha”, literally meaning ‘box’ in Sanskrit.

The line drawing art and scroll style of representation of Manjusha typically showcase motifs from the ‘Bihula-Bishahari’ folklore from Bihar – and this is what makes this art extremely different. One of the hallmarks of this style – is the border created in each piece of art – depicting flora and fauna of the region using three colours, pink, yellow and green. What started initially as painting on water vessels or ‘kalash’ has now evolved into art on walls, paper paintings and even on fabric.

This is the story of Anjana Kumari, a Manjusha artist from Bhagalpur, Bihar, who graduated in Fine Arts from Pracheen Kala Kendra, Chandigarh. She grew up watching this craft being practiced in her home and learnt from her mother Nirmala Devi, a renowned Manjusha artist and brother, Manoj Pandit who was awarded the title of ‘Manjusha Kala Guru’ by the Ministry of Culture in the year 2014.

Manjusha Art: ‘Bihula-Bishahari’ Folklore motifs with border and bold colours

After getting married, due to household responsibilities, she couldn’t dedicate her time to this art but when the family faced financial challenges – it was Manjusha art that came to their rescue and turned into a major source of income. As a full-time professional artist who gets orders from the government as well as individuals – Anjana Kumari ji and her family have played an active role in reviving this art form – else it would have gone into oblivion. For this achievement – she has received ‘Rajya Medha Puruskar’ from the Government in the year 2016-17.

Contemporary twist to an age-old art form: Manjusha folk-art mask

WorldArtCommunity is extremely proud to showcase this unique art form created by Anjana Kumari on our platform and as we take their legacy and the beauty of her art forward.

Explore her creations here!


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