Hyderabad-based Dhanalakota family, which has been practising Telangana’s 400-year-old art form of Cheriyal scroll painting to date, is now leading the efforts to use the art form on Covid-19 face masks.
The family of four, which includes Dhanalakota Nageshwar (49), D Padma (46), Sai Kiran (27) and his younger brother Sravan Kumar (22), is working tirelessly to create artistic wonders. They are creating face masks with traditional motifs on it at their residence in Gajularamaram.
“Currently, there are only eight families that are practising Cheriyal Scroll art in the State. It is under the threat of extinction. I thought this is the time to promote this 12th-century art when the demand for face masks is increasing steadily. Instead of plain masks, people would probably opt for colourful ones. We wanted to make masks by giving novel yet traditional touch to it,” said Sai Kiran, who takes on the big responsibility of carrying forward the legacy of Cheriyal painting.
Cheriyal Scroll painting is a stylised version of Nakashi art. It originated in the village of Cheriyal in Telangana, an hour’s drive from Hyderabad. It was used by storytellers to narrate stories from Indian mythology like the Ramayana and the Mahabarata. After the scrolls were painted on a khadi cloth using natural colours, the story was performed by artistes in front of village gatherings.
Sai Kiran has earlier used Cheriyal motifs on bags and mobile phone covers. To create masks, the family is using a cotton cloth that is available at home and natural colours like red, yellow and green. It is stitched in varied sizes with cloth strips to hold the mask. These masks are reusable and washable.
So far, the family has created 20 face masks and are working relentlessly to produce more. Each mask would be sold between Rs 100 and Rs 150. Earlier, a Cheriyal painting was done depicting various characters telling about the importance of staying at home and maintaining personal hygiene.
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