Madhubani Arts - Postage Stamps - Geometrical Pattern with Sedan & Elephant at foot

[The content source of this article is written by Ms. Anita Joshua and taken from )


NEW DELHI, OCT. 15. 2000 The centuries-old narrative folk art tradition of Madhubani - that has already found a pride of place in art-loving homes across the globe - is all set to make greater inroads. Indeed, with the Department of Posts now coming out with a set of four stamps depicting the Madhubani paintings, this tradition from the Mithila cultural zone of Bihar can hope to attain a wider reach.



Madhubani Arts - Postage Stamps - "Flutist & Dancing Girls"


Released at Madhubani today by the Union Minister of Communications, Mr. Ram Vilas Paswan, it is for the first time that this folk tradition from Mithila has found a place in the country's large corpus of stamps. Bright and colourful, each of the four stamps represent the vibrant traditions of ritual paintings that have been executed by women of the  region for centuries as a simple means of self-expression.


The designs - made by four women from different strata of society -- are based on paintings representing a cross-section of the rural social framework. While Nirmala Devi chose ``Flower Girls'' as her subject, Sanjula Devi and Anmana Devi drew inspiration from Hindu mythology to depict ``Bali and Sugriva'' and ``Krishna with Gopies'' respectively. The fourth is in effect a detail of the central wall of a ``Kohbar-Ghar'' mural painted by the late Ganga Devi at the Crafts Museum right here in the Capital.


Madhubani Arts - Postage Stamps - Two WarriorsAn initiative of the Philately section of the Department of Posts, this stamp has been brought out in denominations that facilitate their use for both domestic and international mailing. While three of the stamps are of Rs. 3 denomination, the fourth - a pair worth Rs. 5 and Rs. 10 - is ideal for international postage.


And, in keeping with the Philatelic Advisory Committee's (PAC) decision this June to step up efforts to promote philately in the country, these stamps are being issued in greater number than is the practise in such cases. Normally, the print order for philatelic stamps vary between four to seven lakhs. But, this time, as many as three million stamps have been printed.


Madhubani Arts - Postage Stamps - Issued in 1974 on Centenary of Universal Postal UnionOfficials in the Philately section say this is the second time that such a big print order has been placed for a special stamp; the first being the one brought out in time for the just concluded Olympic Games. And to facilitate wider dissemination of these stamps, they are being made available at all the 800 head posts offices in the country as per a decision of the PAC which is rather keen on generating a greater interest among Indians in philately.


Madhubani Arts - Postage Stamps - Couple with CowEarlier, these limited edition stamps were available only at the 50 Philately Bureaus and 200 special counters across the country. This network, the PAC felt, was not large enough to cater to the demands of a country of the size of India. And, an early beneficiary of this new outlook happens to be the timeless tradition of Mithila.