Rooftop

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rogan art

Background

Etymology: ‘Rogan’ in Persian translates to ‘oil-based’, which is the main medium used in creating Rogan art. 

Origin: With its origin in Persia, Rogan Art travelled to Nirona village around 400 years ago. Nirona village is located in the middle of Kutch, a vast district of Gujarat. 

Location:  This art form thrives in the village of Nirona in the Kutch district of Gujarat. Earlier, this art form was practised in Baroda, Patna, Chowbari, Khavada, and Nasik; but now it’s only confined to the Kutch and Ahmedabad districts of Gujarat. 

Relevance: This art form is seasonal and is applied to decorate the garments of the bridal trousseau as Rogan art on textiles gives the impression of embroidery. 

History

Significance: Since Rogan art originates in Persia, the technique of creating these paintings is well influenced by the place of origin. The only factor that has stayed intact is their technique but their themes have changed from calligraphic art to geometric and floral motifs. 

Culture and Societies: Rogan art was traditionally made on bridal trousseau like ‘ghagra’, ‘odhana’, ‘chabla’, and ‘dharajo’. They also designed items for dowry such as bedsheets, pillowcases, quilts etc.

Religious significance: Earlier, Persian alphabets were painted on textiles but no evidence of religious texts has been found yet. Since it’s an art form that has migrated from Persia to India, the Khatris of Kutch draw what is synonymous with the environment around them.

Understanding the Art

(Rogan, Rogan josh: a dying art kept alive in a few enthusiastic households, 19/02/18, Rogan josh: A dying art kept alive in a few enthusiastic households | Mint (livemint.com))

Style: Rogan designs are painted free-hand against a black or dark background which makes the highly pigmented colours stand out. The Khatri community of Kutch apply designs which are floral and geometric whereas the Hindu Khatri community of Ahmedabad make floral designs and paints motifs of birds. 

Central motifs: Traditionally, geometric, floral, and calligraphic patterns were painted. Persian alphabets were drawn as calligraphic motifs but now floral and geometrical designs are painted. The ‘Tree of Life’ is one the most frequent and famous motifs painted in Rogan art.

new outlook

The change in means of production to meet the demands is the most drastic change this art form has seen. Apart from this, the application of this art form on products sees a variety now and is not confined to apparel wear, wall hangings and home decor items are also decorated with Rogan art. The Khatri family of Kutch is reviving this art form, they are the eighth generation of artisans. 

rogan art blogs

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