Scroll paintings blended visual and aural media. They were a frequent form of amusement for the ordinary man throughout the ancient and mediaeval eras. In contrast to today, the scroll was one of the primary modes of communication back then before the invention of television, computers, and radios. In India, this style of artwork was called as Cheriyal scroll. Bards or storytellers travelled from village to village carrying these painted scrolls and serving as colourful visual aids while telling tales and singing traditional folk songs to local audiences.

Cheriyal Scrolls
Image Credits: Memeraki (1); Aarav (2)

The use of Cheriyal paintings to depict events from Indian mythical epics like the Ramayana and the Mahabharata is a respected folk custom of the villages. Traditional folk singers would tell these tales while villagers gathered around in the evenings, along with Instruments like the tabla harmonica to create the ideal ambience and using the painted scrolls as visual aids. We’ll walk you through a Cheriyal painting as art in today’s blog, outlining every important detail so you can stay informed with Rooftop!

Origin Of Cheriyal Scroll

Cheriyals are created in one of the remaining locations in India known as Cheriyal. It is a small, peaceful village in Telangana that is around 100 miles from the state’s capital Hyderabad. Several families once called it home and made a living off of scroll paintings. Though due to a lack of patronage, many have left or given up.

Cheriyal Scrolls
Image Credits: Scroll.in (1); India Inch (2)

In addition to representing the life of everyday people from different communities. This included farming, sailors, spinners, and toddy tribals, the paintings were renowned for narrating unique stories.

Features Of Cheriyal Scroll

The stunning attraction of Cheriyal scrolls is due to their wholly environmentally friendly and sustainable components. The narrative is typically depicted in a sequence of horizontal panels. The flower border in the middle and resembles modern comic strips divide them. The scrolls are typically created in a vertical arrangement. The scrolls were frequently shown by hanging them from a tree and revealing them panel by panel as the events were narrated. Such type was most common during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

Cheriyal Scrolls
Image Credits: CIMA Gallery (1); Artora (2)

The vibrant colours of Cheriyal paintings, which are mostly primary colours made from natural resources most notably red from powder from red stone, white from earth seashells which are squashed and created into a paste, lemon yellow from turmeric, which would be traditionally used for jewellery, and made of golden yellow for depicting skin tones make them distinctively recognisable.

Style Of Cheriyal Scroll

The process of creating ancient Cheriyal paintings was entirely natural in antiquity. Everything from the brush to the canvas or linen to the paints was manufactured from natural materials. The distinctive Cheriyal masks are fashioned from tamarind and sawdust, which are then dried into clay. Without using any moulds, craftsmen meticulously hand-cast the features, such as eyes, lips, and nose.

Cheriyal Scrolls
Image Credits: Google Arts & Culture (1); Indian Folk Art (2)

Global Standing Cheriyal Scroll

The art form has seen numerous alterations as the times have changed. The lengthy mythical tales are now condensed into a single event because there are no longer any conventional audiences for lengthy scrolls. The paintings now only show individual incidents, episodes, or characters from classic stories rather than the entirety of the narrative. The scale of images has likewise shrunk in response to the shrinking size of buildings. Additionally, the preparation of the colours has changed.

Inexpensive synthetic watercolours have supplanted natural dyes. This historic art form has endured, though, and it continues to inspire people all across the world. Given its rich cultural legacy and values.

Cheriyal Scrolls
Image Credits: Pinterest

India is a country with thousands of art forms that are yet to be discovered and keep making their path forward in today’s art world. One of them is Cheriyal painting to learn and keep yourself informed about art. Follow Rooftop on Instagram  @rooftop_app for all the latest updates and download the Rooftop app available for both iOS and Android devices.