Journey of a thousand year old art form by the largest tribal community of India
The Patanghar Gond painting cluster is situated in Dhindori district of eastern part of state of Madhya Pradesh and is almost 500 k.m. away from state capital Bhopal and approximately 150 k.m. from the nearest major city of Jabalpur. The small hamlet of Patanghar is located on the Maikal mountain range and near to some of the tourist locations like Bandhavgarh and Kanha National Park. It is said that painting by Gond tribes started in the era of cave painting thousands of years ago by their ancestors and then it evolved as a painting on the walls of community/tribe households and in modern times (30-40 years ago) it has further evolved on the paper and on other mediums as well. In recent times, some of the urban people are also engaging gond painting artists to paint on the walls of their city houses. The cluster comprises around 300-350 artisans who are mainly tribal groups and involved in full time handicraft making. Raw materials which are used for painting are mainly purchased from the local market matching the requirements. The images are mainly done on canvas & paper, wall painting, paintings on fabrics. Inspiration/ideas of the paintings are taken from the community folklore, lifestyle and surrounding environment which primarily depicts the humble, easy yet rich heritage and culture of Gond tribe. Unique dotted style of the painting has made it distinctively different from other tribal or community paintings. It usually takes about 1-2 weeks for a painting to be completed depending on the size (average size 1ft/2ft), subject (detailing and volume of work) and the medium (fabric/wall/paper) on which it is drawn on.
(source: Foundation for MSME Clusters survey report, 2019)