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Jhoti Chita: Connecting the Enchanted with the Material

Jhoti or Chita is the traditional Odia artform utilized on the floor and walls of homes in rural Odisha. The fingers are utilized as brushes in this fine art. Multifaceted and wonderful floral designs, the lotus, elephants, images utilized in patta chitra discover place in this type of free hand drawing. Little footmarks of goddess Lakshmi are a requirement in any jhoti.

Importance in Odia Culture

The jhoti or chita are drawn not only with the aim of enhancing the house but to build up a connection between the god and the human. For each event a particular theme is drawn on the floor or on the walls. For example, during Lakshmi puja a heap of paddy or rice is drawn on the walls in the form of a pyramid.

Jhoti Chita
courtesy Wikimedia

During Durga Puja, white dabs superimposed with red are painted on the walls. This mix of red and white implies the love of Shiva and Shakti. Homes in Odisha have become premier for making these customary jhotis.

Occasions on Which Jhotis are Presented

Ladies design their homes with customary jhotis during numerous events. The floors, patios, the walls of the home, entrance to the house are beautifully decorated with jhotis.

Jhotis are drawn on unique events and are an absolute necessity in celebrations like, Basanti, Manabashaa Gurubaara, Kaartika, Dola, Jhulana, DhanaLakshmi puja, Gaja Lakshmi puja. The celebrations transform into events of happiness when they incorporate Jhoti designs.

Jhoti Chita
courtesy Wikipedia

The Hindu month of Margashira (November – December) is viewed as promising when Goddess Lakshmi is summoned in each house on Thursdays. This is a significant celebration as it is the harvest season when the grain is cultivated. The reap of the kharif season is revered as goddess Lakshmi on these Thursdays.

This is an age-old celebration followed by the married ladies. During this month, the ladies embellish their homes, passages, with stylishly designs with the help of the ground semi fluid rice or pithau. The designs are done on Wednesdays and the Lakshmi puja is performed on Thursdays.

Manabasa Gurubar

In Odisha, it is accepted that Goddess Lakshmi, the Hindu goddess of riches and flourishing, visits homes in the period of Margashira. Thus the Manabasa Gurubar-a celebration where Goddess Lakshmi is worshipped on each Thursday. Like most bratas, this specific Lakshmi brata, called Manabasa Gurubara brata, with which Lakshmi Purana is related, is lady driven.

Legend behind Manabasa Gurubar

The Legend of Manabasa Gurubar depends on the sacred text “Lakshmi Puran”. The untouchables were not permitted to worship and perform customs to the divine beings and goddesses in the old ages.

It was in this time Sriya, a lady from the lower position sets out to offer prayers to Goddess Lakshmi. In the end she prevails upon the goddess of riches. In spite of the fact that Goddess Lakshmi put an end to end to social discrimination, among individuals on earth dependent on their caste and urges the untouchables to lead ceremonies and love to divine beings, goddess Lakshmi is compelled to leave her home.

As Goddess Lakshmi moves out of Lord Jagannath’s home, both Lord Jagannath and Lord Balabhadra go through suffer from acute shortage of water and food. The scourge of Goddess Lakshmi severely affected both the siblings for a long time. They finally understood the significance of Goddess Lakshmi and were quick to take her back to their home. Goddess Lakshmi consented to come back to Lord Jagannath’s home on one condition, that there no longer will be any discrimination.

This story offers message to the general public that ladies ought to be regarded, given appropriate consideration and care. A house becomes home just because of a lady. This is the motivation behind why ladies are considered as the Lakshmi of a home. At the point when a lady is slighted all the greatness and joy disappears from the house. It mirrored the changes and dynamic position of Gods from the antiquated occasions.

The other message is of social fairness, that everybody has the option to get well off and gain fortunes by their difficult work and ingenuity. This exceptional story features the way that according to the God, everybody is equivalent.

The story draws one’s consideration towards discrimination as well as gives a message of women empowerment.

Techniques of Jhoti

It is a typical practice for the ladies in Odisha to draw a few figures and bloom designs on the mud walls. A natural red shading called “dhau” is spread on the walls and afterward the jhotis are made which give a brilliant difference. “Dhau” is additionally utilized by individuals while drawing Jhotis on the floor as the foundation shading.

To draw a jhoti or chita, the fingers are plunged into the semi fluid rice glue and made to follow out perplexing designs on the floor or walls. Once in a while a sort of brush is set up from a twig with a little bit of fabric connected toward one side. This is plunged into the white, semi fluid rice glue to draw designs on the wall. On occasion, the glue is sprinkled on the walls with sensitive twirls of the wrist.

Once these jhotis are made one goes past around them and doesn’t walk over them as they are offerings to the goddess Lakshmi. Additionally after the celebration ends, these are not cleared away with a brush, however are cleaned off with a wet material.

In the end, jhotis are an integral part of the lifestyle and traditions of the people of Odisha and it reflects the inherent spirituality and creativity of Odia culture.

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