Etymology: The name ‘Paitkar’ can be considered a variable of the ‘Pata’ or ‘Pata Chitra’ scroll paintings.
Origin: Paitkar paintings originate from the Amadubi village situated in the Eastern part of Jharkhand, this village is called Paitkar village.
Location: These paintings were once popular in Orrisa, Bihar, and West Bengal but this art form is exclusively practised in Amadubi village. Although, the roots for Paitkar paintings can be traced back to the cultural practices carried out in West Bengal.
Relevance: Paitkar paintings are a story-telling art form portraying the socio-religious customs of the prevalent region. These paintings reflect the events from day-to-day life and talk about the mythology and legends of their society.
Significance: This scroll painting mirrors Bengali and Jharkhand everyday life. Paitkar paintings can be seen as a subset of Pata Chitra scroll paintings, and is one of the easiest folk paintings of India.
Culture and Societies: This art form is traditionally practised by men. It’s transgenerational and is passed down from father to son. The chitrakar community not only create Paitkar paintings, but they also dabble in making relief sculptures on bricks, weaving on palm leaves, and crafting items out of the waste tin.
Religious significance: These paintings depict scenes, motifs, and characters from the Hindu epics of Ramayana, Mahabharata, Manasa song (Manasa pada), and Kali song (Kali Pada).
Style: These are flat paintings that make use of thick lines to outline and paint the elements within them. The human subjects are portrayed with elongated eyes which reflects the classical Indian painting style.
Central motifs and their significance: The paintings depict themes such as the origins of life, Hindu history and legends, tribal lifestyle, rituals, and festivals.
This folk art received its due recognition much later since its inception. As a result, local artists began actively working to preserve their folk art by teaching and training the younger generations about it.