BHUBANESWAR: As the world famous ‘Car Festival’ of Puri looms, ‘Maharanas’, ‘Chandua’ makers and other decorators are in full swing to complete all preparations before the festival.
Chandua artistes of Pipli, who have been creating draperies for the three chariots since ages, have begun their work too. Orissa Post interacted with multiple artistes to delve deeper into the niceties involved in the age-old art.
Vishnu Ratha, an artiste involved in making draperies for 20 years, said, “The appliqué items were traditionally used during the procession of the deities in their various ritual outings are like Chhati (umbrella used in religious functions and processions), Tarasa (heart-shaped banner mounted on a stand) and Chandua (canopy).
The colour combination of traditional items is yellow, black, red, and green. A great deal of diligence is used in the drapery work. Artistic motifs such as, animals (elephant, lion and tiger), birds (parrot, duck, swan, peacock) leaves, flowers and astral bodies such as Rahu (the demon that swallows the sun and moon during eclipses), sun and moon were cut out from a solo piece of cloth and then secures to the base material with the help of numerous stitches in embroidery.
Ajay Nath, who has been assisting Sumitra Dei of Pipli village in making appliqués, said, “The elegantly colourful appliqué sheets are used to guard the gods and goddesses from the Sun and the rain when they are out on the street to meet their maternal aunt Devi Gundicha. That is how the story of chandua (the Indian version of appliqué) began in the ‘Jagannath Dham’.”
Chaitali Shome, OP