In Bengal, in the olden days, in order to disseminate the holy stories, folk legends adn perhaps even news of major events, Pattua scrolls were used.\nWomen first painted out the story on a long vertical scroll that could be hand carried and went from door to door announcing their arrival. If invited to do so, they would\u00a0 stop and sing out the whole story before the family, exposing just one scene of the pattua scroll as they sang the verse pertaining to that scene.\nIn return, they received some money.\nToday the function of spreading the news is redundant as 24/7 media channels have invaded and captured every home. And though for legends and folk tales this function might have still been of use, the interest of the people has waned and moved to other areas. Earlier this was one of the few forms of entertainment available \u2013 today sadly, this is among the least preferred forms. The number of\u00a0 practitioners of this trade has also therefore dwindled.\nI had acquired one vintage pattua a few years ago \u2013 but\u00a0 did not know what it was.\n\n\n\n\nThen, on for a talk on a cruise ship, I had taken it along as an example of folk paintings and had come across an inspiring elderly couple from Kolkatta (A physicist and a famous\u00a0 health care practitioner). They explained the pattua to me\u00a0 how it was used \u2013 what was the significance etc \u2013 and also the particular legend that was the subject of mine.\nMy guess was that if I wished to see such a performance today, I would have to go to some village in Bengal and wait it out until someone came by.\nBut serendipity thought otherwise.\nAnd so, on one visit to an exhibition I witnessed the actual singing \u2026..\nI was at a sari shop studying, selecting and getting besotted by various pieces and getting quite tortured with the idea of having to choose one and let go of the others\u2026 when I heard the soulful singing emanate from a corner. Eventually after a few futile attempts to block out the sweet singing\u00a0 I couldn\u2019t bear the attraction any more and left the saris and went in search of the singer.\nI saw her holding up her scroll and instantly I knew what this was \u2013 a Pattua singer.\nWhat brilliant luck!\nHere she is:\n\nThe subject is the recent Tsunami.\nNote the way she points out to the subjects she is singing about. And also how she rolls up the upper end of the scroll and opens up the lower end.\nUnfortunately due to memory constraints my phone captured only a few minutes of her amazing voice and and lovely singing.\nLet us pray that this folk art has a long long life!\n\u00a0\njm\nSept 2016\n.\nClick to see more images of the Pattua from wovensouls.com [AFP-296]\n\u00a0\n.\n.\n\u00a0\n.\n\u00a0\nThe post Pattua Singing from Bengal appeared first on The Art Blog by WOVENSOULS.COM.