Notes on Culture & Antique Art, Ethnic Decor & Vintage Fashion | Wovensouls Art Gallery
This Pabuji-ki-Phad is a hand-drawn, hand-painted work of folk art from Rajasthan.
Used as a backdrop mural for devotional performances by ‘Bhopas’ who are invited to celebrations and festivals to narrate the story of the Lok Deva or folk gods.
Phads are passed down from father to son in the Bhopa family and contain several scenes from the life of Pabuji and is used to illustrate the stories during the Bhopa’s performance and each Phad is used over 3-4 generations.
When Bhopas commission a new Phad the old ancestral Phad is usually consecrated and laid down in holy waters. In a few cases the Phad artist requests that the old Phad be retained for its artisitic value.This is one such Phad.
Colors used are all natural colors.
Age unknown but estimated to be from the 1940s-1950s
MEASUREMENT : 15.3 feet x 5 feet – COMPLETE (rarely found complete)
[178 inches long without the additional cloth panels at the end / 60 inches tall]
CONDITION : Not perfect. The edge on its left side is worn out as is normal for all authentic Phads. The bottom edge has frayed and is in poor condition. The back is soiled and has stains (more photos on request).
Estimated to be from late 1800s / early 1900s
LITERATURE REFERENCE : Pages 89-90 in the coffee table book ‘Indian Textiles’ by John Gillow & Nicholas Bernard show younger examples of the Phad.
REFERENCE EXAMPLES : 1. Brooklyn Museum, New York 2. Tropenmuseum, Amsterdam 3. Asian Art Museum, San Francisco
NOTE: This work of art represents a whole cultural facet of the people of Rajasthan and is at the centre of a vanishing tradition. After the current generation of Bhopas – who are now in their 60s, this tradition will not exist anymore. Once that happens, the art will follow
This item has spent a lifetime being used for the purpose of its creation with the original artist/user.
It is very likely that signs of this life are present on the piece in the form of fading, worn out parts, stains, thread loss, loose threads, holes, tears, color run and other imperfections.
Therefore the condition must be assumed to be “not” perfect.
This item has spent a lifetime being used for the purpose of its creation with the original artist/user. Signs of this life lived heartily may be present on the piece in the form of stains, thread loss, loose threads, holes, tears, color run and other imperfections. Therefore the condition must be assumed to be “not” perfect. More photos of such imperfections will be provided on request.