Heritage HutsShilpgramShilpgram UdaipurTraditional Village Huts

Rathwa Hut – Chohtta Udaipur, Gujarat

This Rathwa Tribal hut is from Rangpur Sadli Village of the Chotta Udaipur area, located in the district of Vadodara, which borders Madhya Pradesh. Agriculture is the main work of the Rathwapeople, but their personal and social lives are full of artistic simplicity in dancing, music, and painting. In addition, they are adept at basket weaving and beadwork. The Rathwa hut is relatively simple. A wall that separates the kitchen from the living area is used for ritualistic purposes, in the form of a distinctive art form.

The paintings, executed in bright, bold colors, .depict a strange variety of subject matter. Animals tend to make up the greater percentage, with horses, both riderless and with mounts, plowing oxen, elephants, peacocks, snakes and even scorpions featured. Dancers, lovers, friends chatting, and most incongruously, a primitive train is also present. The subject matter is gathered from the day-to-day lives and observations of the Rathwas. This art is as much devotional as decorative; the ritual of executing these paintings amounts to an offering to Pithora Baba, the motadev (chief god) of the Rathwa. This ensures Pithora Baba’s protection, and takes place only once every five years, during an all night religious celebration known as a Rath Jogga.

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