मञ्जूषा कला (Manjusha Art)

Manjushas are temple-shaped boxes, made of bamboo, jute straw and paper. According to legend, Manjusha art traces its origin to the Bihula-Vishahri or Mansha folktale, popular in erstwhile Anga Pradesh and found also in an altered form in West Bengal. The paintings are drawn primarily on the occasion of the Bishari puja, celebrated usually in August to propitiate the snake gods. As Bihula's boat was decorated by a character called Lahsan Mali, this art has been confined to the Mali or gardener caste. Like Madhubani, Manjusha too is pictorial reflections of folklore, poetry and the larger cultural consciousness of the region.

Manjusha Art is considered by many as modern art, due to their form and abstract themes. This is why the art-lover who discovered them for the outside world, W.G. Archer, an ICS officer who worked in different parts of Bihar between 1931 and 1948, compared them to the works ofPicasso and Jackson Pollock. Archer, in fact, took some of these pa…

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