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Kinnala Craft

Kinnala art is an old painted wooden art form of North Karnataka. It traces it roots back to the Vijayanagara empire. But now this ancient form is on the verge of being forgotten. Traditional artisan Narayanappa Chitrakar is reviving this Art again with his efforts.

The wooden statues of Shiva and Parvati at Virupaksha Temple and the intricate work on the wooden chariot at Hampi were said to be the work of the ancestors of Kinhal artisans of today. The artisans migrated to Kinnal village in Koppal district after the fall of the empire and the art identified itself with the village. Earlier, there were 50 families engaged in this art but today only two families were continuing the work, he said.

Light wood of neem nugge (drumstick tree) and kitta (liquid and paste of tamarind seeds) are the basic materials used here. The artisans do multifarious job of cutting, polishing, painting and ornamenting the furniture. Brushes made of hair of squirrel’s tail are used to do delicate painting. Small and big ornamental boxes, stools, low planks (chowkis), god-stands (peetha) and cradles are the specialization of these artisans.

The subjects of the art could be mythological characters, birds, animals, creepers, flowers and fruit.

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