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University of Connecticut University Libraries

Madhubani Painting on Silk Sari

20th Century, Bihar

In Northern Bihar, women in rural areas adorn the walls of their houses with rice-and lentil powder paintings. These ‘Madhubani’ paintings express, symbolically, the Vedic principles of holistic ties between people and nature. The motifs of these Madhubani paintings have been adopted by people who paint designs on saris. This sari, a bleached silk from the neighboring state of Bengal, recreates a Madhubani motif, emphasizing the female form and local natural objects.