Chronicle Reporter, Bhopal
Under the popular museum series ‘Exhibit of the Month’ of Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Manav Sangrahalaya, a traditional object is displayed in the appearance for a whole month. The exhibit for the month of March, 2018 is “Jautuka Pedi”.
This exhibit a kind of decorative dowry box is used by the folk communities of Odisha in marriage ceremony. This exhibit of the month has been collected and compiled by Smt. P. Anuradha (Museum Associate).
According to the customary practices, Jautuka Pedi is given as a gift from bride’s father to groom’s family specifically at the time of marriage. In this box clothes, household utensils, ornaments and bride’s daily use items like sindur (vermillion), chudi (bangles), alta (a kind of liquid red colour) and other necessary items are kept.
Often, earlier times as well as at some places today these goods were packed into a box or chest, traditionally made of wood and typically decorated as richly as means would allow, the better to show it off as a status symbol when the bride arrived at her-in-laws home.
It is quite difficult to determine whether this pedi was in fact intended to serve for a dowry or whether it is commissioned for other purposes. However, it is most richly decorated marriage box, particularly those are decorated with good luck symbols and sign of red paint is the colour of celebration, fertility and blood, which breaks the traditional practice of ‘Dowry’.
Making Process - The preparation of a Jautuka Pedi begins with the making of wooden box by the carpenter as per the order from the Chitrakar. It is made out of gamharia wood. The Chitrakaar purchase these boxes and prepare the wooden surface for painting. Firstly, a coating of gum made out of tamarind seed is applied on cloth and pasted over the wooden surface. Then, it is allowed to dry under sun-light.
The next stage is the Khadi Lagi (application of chalk). Soft clay stone is powdered and mixed with tamarind gum (2:1 ratio) and this glutinous substance is applies on the dried cloth and left for drying.
After the cloth dried, the surface is rubbed with a coarse stone and rounded pebble stone until a smooth and polished surface is achieved. Over the prepared surface painting is done by the Chitrakar following a definite sequence as made in Pata Painting.
It is Dhadi Mapa (demarcation of border), Tipana (Sketching), Hingula Banaka (background filling with red colour), Ranga Banaka (modeling of figures in base colour), Luga Pindha (putting on dress), Mota Kala (thick black line), Saru Kala (thin black line), Sankha Pata (white touching), Dhadi Kama (border) and Jausala (Lacquering).