Madhubani Art

Ancient Videha or Mithila, supposedly the birth place of Sita, is situated in Northern Bihar. Within this area a rich tradition of domestic ritual painting was practiced from ancient times and was called Mithila or Maithili painting after the region. As is the case in most of the folk and tribal art forms, the paintings were created on the mud walls of their huts. Eventually the practice waned.
The year 1967-68 saw the revival of Maithili painting. At this juncture the entire area was going through a great famine and people were dying of hunger. In their fight for survival, they stopped painting their houses. God cannot be worshipped on an empty stomach. Fortunately the famine did not last long. It was during this time that the late Mr. L.N. Misra stepped in to rescue the tradition of Maithili painting, and a new tradition was born. The paintings now done on cloth and paper were prevalent in and around the Madhubani district. Thus the painting came to be popularly known as Madhubani painting.
Traditionally, in the areas where this art is practiced, after the wedding ceremony, the bride’s family plays a prank on the bridegroom and he is asked to offer prayers to the frog as he is their family deity (kul devta). He is then offered a container with a frog in it, and as soon as he opens it, the frog hops away and they all have a good laugh at his expense.