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Alpana  Paintings

                  Alpana or design, is a form of traditional art. It is composed mostly by women to beautify wall and floor of huts. A decorative alpana is drawn at the entrance of a house, courtyard in temples and before the deity in the house. The material used is usually a paste of powdered rice, sometimes mixed with crushed turmeric or some local material such as chalk and geru or red colour, stone colours, sea shells to give it attractive colours.  It is believed that an alpana has a miraculous effect of invoking protection from the great powers.  Ritualistic alpana designs are mostly symbolic and composed of motifs. They can be seen on festive occasions which come throughout the year. Clay wall of a village hut provides a suitable canvas for such decorations. Vedic gods, sun,  moon and navagraha (nine planets) birds, animals, flowers, ornamental forms and some geometrical designs are common motifs in alpana. Though the motifs are stylized the overall alpana with bright colours emerges as a beautiful piece of village art. Some alpanas are integral to great festivals and are common for the whole country while some are particular to a region.