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Madhubani painting or Mithila painting is a style of Hindu Painting, practiced in the Mithila region of Nepal and in Indian States of Bihar. Painting is done with fingers, twigs, brushes, nib-pens, and matchsticks, using natural dyes and pigments, and is characterized by eye-catching geometrical patterns.There are paintings for each occasion and festival such as birth, marriage, Holi, Surya Shasti, Kali Puja, Upanayanam, Durga Puja etc.

The Mithila region, from which the name Mithila art is derived, is believed to have been the kingdom of King Janak. The exact location of it lies in present-day Janakpur of Nepal.

This painting as a form of wall art was practiced widely throughout the region; the more recent development of painting on paper and canvas originated among the villages around Madhubani, and it is these latter developments that may correctly be referred to as Madhubani art

The painting was traditionally done on freshly plastered mud walls and floors of huts, but now they are also done on cloth, handmade paper and canvas.Madhubani paintings are made from the paste of powdered rice. Madhubani painting has remained confined to a compact geographical area and the skills have been passed on through centuries, the content and the style have largely remained the same. And that is the reason for Madhubani painting being accorded the coveted GI (Geographical Indication) status.

Madhubani paintings mostly depict the men & its association with nature and the scenes & deity from the ancient epics. Natural objects like the sun, the moon, and religious plants like tulsi are also widely painted, along with scenes from the royal court and social events like weddings. Generally no space is left empty; the gaps are filled by paintings of flowers, animals, birds, and even geometric designs.[citation needed] Traditionally, painting was one of the skills that was passed down from generation to generation in the families of the Mithila Region, mainly by women.It is still practised and kept alive in the institutions spread across mithila region. kalakriti in darbhanga,vaidehi in madhubani and gram vikas parishad in ranti are some of the major centers of madhubani painting which has kept this ancient art form alive. The artists like Bharti Dayal and Deepti Agrawal Mittal have brought laurels to this art form worldwide

Madhubani art has five distinctive styles, namely, Bharni, Katchni, Tantrik, Nepali and Kohbar. In the 1960s Bharni, Kachni and Tantrik style were mainly done by Brahman and Kayashth women, who are upper caste women in India and Nepal. Their themes were mainly religious, and they depicted Gods and Goddesses in their paintings. People of lower castes and classes included aspects of their daily life and symbols of Gods and Goddesses much more, in their paintings. The Godna and Kohbar style is done by the Dalit and Dushadh communities. Kohbar paintings are usually made by a to-be bride's family to present the to-be groom's family with. The 'fish' represents prosperity and respect in madhubani paintings. Of course, nowadays Madhubani has become a globalized art form, and difference in styles of various castes are distinct in the same way they may have been before Madhubani received international and national attention.

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