Folk Painting/Hase Chitra of Karnataka

Chitttaras are wall paintings done by the tribal women of Malnad, in South West Karnataka, for special occasions such as weddings, festivals and auspicious days. The lines and patterns on these paintings each symbolize an aspect of nature or depict the religious, social or agricultural practices of the community. They show the daily hustle bustle of village life, their ceremonies, their deities, the birds of the region, the toys the children play with and even the flowers popularly used.

The community makes its own colours, deriving them from natural sources, such as barks of trees, rocks, minerals and vegetables. While the designs on the paintings are common across the entire community, the colours used distinguish one family or clan from another.

The community also makes decorative artifacts with the characteristic Chittara motifs on them like the butti (cane baskets coated with red mud), pen stands (made of bamboo), madake (clay pots), torans (door hangings made of dried paddy), hidi (small broom made of hittade grass), sibala (baskets made of hittade grass), pettige (small box), irike (doughnut shaped ring of woven grass, ichala chaape (palm mat).