Saturday, August 1, 2015

Travel souvenirs (part I)

Starting today, every month I plan to post an interesting souvenir you can carry back from your travel. Knowing that you are carrying a piece of history along with you, will only make it worth treasuring and you a proud owner! .These souvenirs  are handmade and  are significant in the way it is made.

Let us start with an interesting painted wooden art form -KAAVAD ART from Rajasthan. The specialty of these story box is, it conveys a story through the pictures drawn laboriously on to them They look like small temples or shrines and as each door opens it tells you a part of the story. These stories are generally mythological taken from the Ramayana, Krishna leela, life of Buddha or the Mahabharata. This art is said to be about 2000 yrs old and has existed from the time of King Vikramaditya of Ujjain. The boxes can have one to twelve doors.The type of wood used to make the kaavad art is either mango or sangwani wood.

story box 
Each door opens to reveal a story

A group of hereditary craftsmen from the Chittoragarh district in Rajasthan, both male and female artisan are still engaged in the process of making Kaavad. The storytellers or the Kaavriya Bhats are commissioned for these boxes.The storytellers open these boxes in a pattern or sequence with the events in narration. After the story is over, there is a small drawer at the bottom of such boxes where in, the audience is asked to keep a small donation.

An artist at work

This must have been an interesting form of passing  time, before the electronic era set in, as the kaavariya proceeded from one village to another narrating the stories and I can imagine an audience awestruck by the wonderful narration.

Though our kids are hooked on to the television, laptop,i-pads and the tablets, am sure, given a choice and a master storyteller they will soon give up their arms and legs to own a kaavad. After all don't we see them enjoying an animated versions of these mythological stories even now?

Now tell me isn't this an amazing gift  and souvenir item that you can treasure for a lifetime. Kids particularly, enjoy stories and what better than having a visual representation of the same...Go for it, the next time, you are in Rajasthan. It will be worth every penny paid!


Patricia Massey said...

Great appreciating work, you can catch something to your mind easily if you see a picture, great pictures can help one to create their own story. Must like to say this is a splendid work!

Kunal Sutar said...

Thanxs for sharing with all of us .

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