Soon, Naya Pingla to host 9th Pot Maya

Kolkata: The 9th edition of Pot Maya, a fair of patachitras will be held at Naya Pingla in West Midnapore from November 16 to 18.

Naya Pingla has become a major tourist attraction because of the patachitra painters. The state Micro Small and Medium Enterprises and Textiles (MSME&T) department, along with UNESCO and district administration, have set up a rural craft hub in the village. There are 10 such craft hubs all over the state that provide support to the families of 3,000 artists. West Bengal Khadi and Village Industries Board gives active support to organise the fair. Steps have already been taken to sell the produce of the artisans there.

It may be mentioned that after coming to power in 2011, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee gave stress on the revival of folk culture in Bengal. The folk and cultural hubs have come up in 15 districts. The holding of regular fairs has helped the artists to build direct contact with the buyers.

Two hundred and seventy patachitra artists will take part in the fair. At least one person from each family in Naya Pingla has visited USA or Europe and taken part in the exhibitions. The most interesting part of the patachitra artists is that they are Muslims, while the paintings they make are of Hindu gods and goddesses.

With government support, the patachitra artists are now making designs on kurtas, kurtis and even saris. They also regularly take part in the national level fairs. Many of the artists visit the government art colleges all over the country to take classes on patachitras.

During the three-day festival, there will be folk performances including Chhau dance and Putul Nach in the evening. Milli Janatkova from Czech Republic will present a collaborative programme with the patachitra artists.

It may be mentioned that Dokra of Bikna and Dariyapur, Terracotta of Panchmura, Chhau masks of Charida, wooden masks of Kushmandi, patachitras and madurs of West and East Midnapore have received GI (Geographical Indication) status.

Hundreds of visitors from across the country and globe visit Naya Pingla to see the patachitras. Folk artists from Italy and Germany also come to Naya Pingla every year to learn patachitra paintings.

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