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This Pabuji-ki-Phad is a hand-drawn, hand-painted work of folk art from Rajasthan.
Used as a backdrop mural for devotional performances by 'Bhopas' who are invited to celebrations and festivals to narrate the story of the Lok Deva or folk gods.
Phads are passed down from father to son in the Bhopa family and contain several scenes from the life of Pabuji and is used to illustrate the stories during the Bhopa's performance and each Phad is used over 3-4 generations.
When Bhopas commission a new Phad the old ancestral Phad is usually consecrated and laid down in holy waters. In a few cases the Phad artist requests that the old Phad be retained for its artisiic value.This is one such Phad.
Colors used are all natural colors.
MEASUREMENT : 15.3 feet x 5 feet
CONDITION : Not perfect. The edge on its left side is worn out as is normal for all authentic Phads.
Estimated to be from 1900
LITERATURE REFERENCE : Pages 89-90 in the coffee table book 'Indian Textiles' by John Gillow & Nicholas Bernard show younger examples of the Phad.
REFERENCE EXAMPLES : 1. Brooklyn Museum, New York 2. Tropenmuseum, Amsterdam 3. Asian Art Museum, San Francisco
NOTE: This work of art represents a whole cultural facet of the people of Rajasthan and is at the centre of a vanishing tradition. After the current generation of Bhopas - who are now in their 60s, this tradition will not exist anymore. Once that happens, the art will follow