Orissa has a rich tradition of arts and crafts. Orissa had many unique art forms and expert master artisans.
Skills have been traditionally passed down generations within the family. However with not enough returns from traditional arts and diminishing interest from the younger generations of some of the traditional families, the artist lot has been a dwindling population.
However in recent times many training institutes and schools have been started by master artists and entrepreneurs to train the genuinely interested and capable youngsters and also provide them with a channel for livelihood.
Palm Leaf Painting and Etching
Palm leafs have been used since very early days of civilization as a medium of written communication. Dried palm leafs are stitched together to form booklets or long pages and they are scribbled on with a sharp metal pen. Slowly, over a period of time, illustrations were included along with the text and that eventually evolved to a full art form. Colors, derived from vegetable dyes, charcoal and other natural products are used to give vibrant colors to the paintings.
The skillful hands of master artists produce unbelievably intricate pictures on palm leaves. This art form today is much respected and still practiced in may places. They can be seen prominently displayed and traded in the lanes of Cuttak, Puri, Raghurajpur and Chitrakarashi.