Chronicle Reporter, Bhopal
Under the educational programme ‘Do and Learn’ organised by Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Manav Sangarahalaya (IGRMS) participants from Rangpursadli, Chhota Udaipur, Gujarat learnt Rathwa painting under the painting workshop.
The training given to registered participants by artist Harsingh. He told an incident about Pithora created by the Rathwa tribe. There came a time when the earth was suffering from severe drought, and living here became difficult. During this time, a devotee undertook a vow to please Baba Pithora and win a boon to be rid of trouble.
Soon after it started to rain, and the earth became all green and obstacles were erased. The devotee organized several rituals in order to fulfill his vow, which concluded with painting Baba Pithora on the walls of his home. From then on, vows and rituals are undertaken in Rathva homes to overcome difficulties.
The painting is factually a ritual associated with Baba Pithora. There are specific parameters which identify this painting. In order to fulfill certain vows, the Ghardhani (home owner) performs the painting in his home. The Lakhara (painter) paints according to the rules and the Badva (shaman) performs rituals. The ritual of the Baba Pithora painting is complete when all three fulfill their duties.
In total, there are almost 165 types of motif which can appear in a single Pithora painting. There are two types of Pithora, based on the progress of vows and the monetary capacity of the Ghardhani.
Based on the variations they are Ardho Pithoro (half Pithor), and Akho Pithoro (complete Pithora). In Ardho Pithora painting, usually five to nine horses are drawn and none of the horses have riders except for Baba Ganeh. An Akho Pithora painting consists of a total of 18 horses with their celestial riders.