Manjusha Art

[This Story of Manjusha Art is provided by Manjusha Guru Sri Manoj Kumar Pandit ]


Manjusha Art Technique

The paintings are done using a brush and paints.


The Colours Used
The main colours used are green, yellow and pink/red.

Yellow signifies peace or samriddhi, Pink/red signifies sacrifice and green signifies happiness. Black and blue cannot be used as they are not considered holy for religious purposes. Earlier the colours used were natural colours.They used indigenous plant materials.They extracted the dyes from various parts of the plants.After a while they started using “kaccha” colours which are powdered colours which are normally used for holi. The colours are not fixed and thus are temporary and will fade overtime. Nowadays, though they are using fabric paints.

Once they started working on fabrics they started using fabric paints and use the same paints even for the paintings they do on paper. If the painting is meant for religious purposes then some of the traditional artisans still use the powdered colors. Off late, the artisans have started drawing with permanent markers.


Earlier they used to use bamboo sticks which were sharpened as brushes, and then they started using brushes made out of squirrel hair/camel hair which are easily available in the market. But since they have started using fabric paints, if the brushes are not washed immediately then they get ruined, so they have started using brushes made out of plastic. These brushes are cheaper and last longer.


The outline is first drawn and then filled in. They do not use scales and other implements for drawing as they feel the lines drawn by hand is what adds to the painting as opposed to drawing them symmetrically by hand. Everything is drawn free hand.The little imperfections and the fact that the lines are not straight, they feel is a part of folk art. Now when they paint on the fabrics, the more skilled artisans draw it directly on the material whereas the other artisans first sketch an outline and then start the painting.


When they start a painting for religious purposes that is for praying, the artist makes a pile of rice in the room , places a beetel leaf with a beetle nut on top of this pile and prays for
permission from the goddesses to start the painting. The moment the leaf shifts a bit or falls, they consider this as a sign that they have got permission and can start their work. Even when doing regular paintings, before starting the traditional artisans utter a mantra in the name of Goddess Bisahari and start the painting.


Main characters & Motifs in Manjusa Art

All the characters in the story are differentiated by certain symbols . In the Bisaharis they can be differentiated by what they hold in their hands. In Manjusa Art all the characters and any human form are depicted in the form of English letter ‘X’ with limbs drawn with linear and uniform bold lines. Other features include portraying Bishahari along with Snakes. The main characters in the art form are projected Sans ear and with big eyes. For decoration, wavy lines are used.