Rice - crafts
Paddy crafts are small figures, garlands, fans and baskets made from chains of unhusked rice. Each piece of rice is carefully knotted to the next with coloured thread to make long chains. These chains are then formed into shapes and pieced together to make the figures or other objects. Rice is a symbol of prosperity, so a popular figure is Lakshmi; the Hindu Goddess of material and spiritual wealth. Only a few families from the Ghand tribes of Orissa still practice paddy craft.
Chittara wall paintings are an ancient art form made by women of Malnad in Karnataka. White paint is made using rice which has been pounded up into a paste. To make black paint the rice is burnt first. They usually have geometrical patterns and show stylised shapes like the lotus or coconut. The paintings were made for festivals and household ceremonies. Recently this tradition has been revived, although now paintings are also made for sale and are painted on paper and objects such as pots. Other traditional paintings in South Asia are drawn on the floor using rice paste. These include rangoli paintings in Maharastra and alpana in Bangladesh.
|Image: This illustration dating around 1725 shows two women drawing a floor design in rice paste.|