Potua-s : The traditional artists of Bengal, India
Potua-s & their art
Potua-s are traditional folk artists of Bengal. They belong to a very poor segment of the society. In religion they are somewhere midway between Hindus & Muslims, but more inclined to the latter. However, all draw pictures in a traditional way peculiar to them about Hindu mythology & different social issues. Their drawings are called “POT”-s or “PATOCHITRA”-s which they draw on a long piece of jute or handmade paper. These are about 2-3 feet broad & sometimes very long, reaching 30-40 feet. They keep these “Pot”s rolled up, only to unfurl while they are showing these to someone. The “Potua”-s roam from villages to villages & from rural fairs to rural fairs with their “Pat”-s. Unfortunately, they & their art are gradually vanishing as the newer generation of Bengali people has lost taste for such traditional art. To have some customers , the “Potua”-s are nowadays painting some other things like colorful vases also along with their traditional “Patochitra”-s. This is my humble endeavor to let the world know about them.