This section exhibits many examples of traditional long format scrolls with translations of the songs appropriate to each work. A painting and the lyrics of the song represent most of the cooperative members. Links are provided to the recital of selected songs.
The artists use commercial paper for the scrolls but still make paint out of organic materials. Scrolls cover a variety of themes: mythological and religious, social and especially women’s issues, contemporary local and world news. The more recent themes are communal (Hindu-Muslim) harmony, Joy Bangla (the birth of Bangladesh as a country), the battle of Kargil (Kashmir conflict), and the September 11 events in New York. Women painters have also developed the figure of Satya Pir (revered by Muslim and Hindu alike) demonstrating how two communities can live in religious harmony despite mounting tensions in the rest of the country.
They are poor, but they try to find new markets and sell their art to middle class families in Calcutta. In addition to itinerate singing, they augment their income by selling scrolls to urban buyers and government sponsors for campaigns in adult literacy, social welfare and public health. They also participate in juried handicraft competitions in Midnapur and Calcutta.
Note: the songs associated with the scrolls are not always sung by the artist of the scroll.Click here for additional scrolls.