Painting Culture Nepal : The Only Driver To Carry On The Traditions Of Whole Community

Painting Culture

Painting Culture : Bhaktapur, Yachhen’s full-fledged painters are busy painting the khvapa of the Nava Durga goddesses worshiped in Dashain. Khwapa means mukundo. Now he is seen sitting in a corner of the bugle every moment, painting his mask. By Navami, however, the 13 masks of Nava Durga will have to be painted.

Painting Culture  In the Newar community of Bhaktapur, the ‘Nava Durga dance’ that takes place during the decade is incomplete without this mask. Purna says, “The work of making mukundo is over, there is still work to be done in small patterns.” Purna has been making the mask of Navdurga Devgan for nearly six decades. Myla’s son Rajesh is also helping her to make a mask.

Painting Culture - Notes Nepal
Painting Culture In Nepal

The method of becoming a deity, i.e. a mask . The work of making this mask starts from Ghantakarna. Purna should make masks of 13 deities including Bhairav, Mahakali, Barahi, Kumari, Ganesh, Brahmayani, Maheshwari, Vaishnavi, Balkumari, Shwetabhairav, Singh and Dumha. A mukundo weighs 5 to 6 kg. According to his son Rajesh, on the day of Ghantakarna, the special black clay brought from Sudal in Bhaktapur is worshiped and the clay is divided into 13 parts to make a deity.Painting Culture

A feast is given to those who play the instrument and dance by worshiping the soil. Then the method of making masks from clay begins. The soil is soaked in water for a few days and then beaten by hand to make flour. The same soil is again mixed with water, cotton, Nepali paper and beaten with a wooden stick.Painting Culture

After that, Nepali cloth is placed on the key of the mukundo and the clay is rolled like bread and placed on it. It shows the beautiful shape of the soil. And after drying it for a few days, Nepali cloth is made into a dough. That’s where the coloring begins. Herbs, gold dust and various stones are used for coloring. Similarly, kerosene, flour, cotton, Nepali paper, white camero, dust from gold to shiny polish are used to make masks. The painter community here is active in making masks.Painting Culture

The reason for applying the polish is that the color does not fade after drying. In the mukunda of Nava Durga, on the ninth day of Dashain, the Karmacharyas perform prana pratishta (worship performed by Tantric method). According to culturologist Om Dhaubhadel, there is a belief that Mukunda becomes alive after worship.

Dance for 9 months
Purna starts making mukunda every year from the day of Ghantakarna and can do it on the ninth day of Dashain. Wearing this mask, the artists of the Vanmala community start the dance of Nava Durga. On the day of Navami, the ‘Khame Bwakeu’ procession begins after the staff hands over the mukunda to the Navdurga deities selected from the Vanmala community.Painting Culture

Painting Culture - Notes Nepal
Painting Culture Nepal

Makundo is performed on the tenth day. The procession of ‘Paya Nhya Keu’ begins after the gods go out in the city wearing masks and robes. For nine months, the deities of the Vanmala community perform Navdurga dance in 22 places of Bhaktapur wearing masks. This dance does not stay in Bhaktapur, it reaches Pashupati, Sankhu, Nala, Nankhel, Sanga, Banepa, Panauti, Dhulikhel. Every year on Ashtami, the Navdurga deity is immersed by burning the mukunda. Apart from Navdurga dance, it is also used in Mukundo Ngala Kegu Jatra (fishing Jatra), Gaijatra, Devinach, Bhairav ​​dance and Lakhe dance, says Dhaubhadel, a cultural expert.

Before the creation of modern Nepal, the valley and the surrounding states were called ‘Nepal Mandal’. In order to protect the state from calamity, the Lichhavi kings established Ashta Matrika in all four directions of Nepal Mandal and formally started Nava Durga dance. Cultural expert Tejeshwar Babu Gwang informed that the dance, which was stopped due to various reasons, was revived by Suvarna Malla of Bhaktapur in 633 BS.

Who painted the house where the gods lived
He is also a ‘painter’ by profession. Grandfather, father used to raise a family by this profession. While looking at his grandfather Shivlal, the juice of painting also came to Purna. His grandfather is the master of painting. He also learned some skills from his sister-in-law Vishnu Bahadur. Purna learned the method of worship from his own father-in-law.

He was only 15 years old when the Guthi of the painter community entrusted him with the task of making masks. At that time, there was no Guthi Sansthan. Yes, Bhadel Adda had instructed them to work. Purna, who painted Hanuman Dhoka in 2013, is fully remembered. He then painted the Panchtale temple in Bhaktapur in 2018 BS. It took a year to paint from Gajur to Kutuwal on the fifth floor. Even now, there are some pieces of paint painted by him on the tundal, toran, door and dalin of the fifth temple.

“I was 16-17 years old. There were about 19-20 people painting with my grandparents,” he says. “Our group also painted in Changunarayan.” Purna says that it took a year to paint Changunarayan. At that time, he was paid three seals for working full day. A little older man was given five seals. In the beginning, it was fun to do things you didn’t know.Painting Culture

It was difficult for the elderly to climb the temple. So, as a teenager, he used to climb the temple and paint. The grandparents would sit down and give them instructions. “I was not afraid to climb a tall temple in my old age,” said Purna confidently. I can go. ”

The color varies according to the deity. At present, the pylons and tundals of the five temples look dirty. Somewhere there is color, nowhere. After 2018, no one asked her to paint. Then hardly those temples were painted!

Problems with expenses

Painting Culture - Notes Nepal
Painting Culture

At present, Guthi Sansthan pays Rs 40,000 annually to make a mask. The interest of the fund of one’s own guthi comes to Rs. 70,000 every year. Bhaktapur Municipality has set up a revolving fund of Rs 1 million to make Mukundo since last year. However, the money has not reached them. By the time 13 masks are completed, more than two lakhs have been spent.

The money raised for the construction of the mukunda never reached them. “They say there are six sources, but we haven’t seen them yet,” says Purna. The rest of the money has been donated by the residents of various places where the dance is performed.

“In the past, those who made masks were highly respected,” says Purna. “It didn’t cost much money.” He feels that the price of making deities has skyrocketed along with other market prices. Seeing that Purna made the mask at his own expense, the sons refused to learn the skill. However, Myla’s son Rajesh helps her. However, he is not as good as his father. Rajesh says, “We also have to preserve the culture, and we have to walk even when we are begging. We can’t live without seeing the suffering of our father.” Painting Culture


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