Earlier, the ‘Mandana’ wall paintings done on mud walls on various festive occasions were a common sight. But over the last fifty years the mandana as symbolic visual art of festive and religious occasions has almost disappeared, more so on the occasion of Raksha Bandhan. It used to be the part of Indian culture, more so in Rajasthan in the early nineties.
The mandana paintings were mainly done by women and the skill is passed on from the older to the younger generation. Often, clay mixed with dung is plastered on the wall and lime or chalk powder is used for painting the theme or the motif of the occasion. Before doing a mandana painting, the portion of the wall plastered with mud and cow dung mixture is painted red or brown with ‘geru’ as background and white colour chalk is used for the drawings.
Earlier, the common design of mandana painting done on the occasion of Raksha Bandhan in Rural Rjasthan was revisited as shown in the inset picture to serve the purpose of posterity for this art of Rajasthan bone to celebrate Rakhi festival.
However, Mandana art designs done on Diwali and Navratri have been commercialized through mandana stickers and pictures or calendars.