Aipan is a traditional folk art of Kumaon, Uttarakhand & is drawn at places of worship, in houses, main door entrance and front courtyard and also walls, during any auspicious occasions. This type of art form has a great social, cultural & religious significance.
These patterns are mostly drawn by women using their last three fingers, on floor over brick red background (geru) with white paste made out of rice flour, using drip drawn method. Aipans are drawn on all special occasions and household ceremonies like naming ceremony or on religious ceremonies for appeasing particular deities & also for aesthetic look, as an adornment. It is believed that these motifs evoke divine power and bring good fortune and ward off evil
This art form is practised in other parts of India as well with slight variations and is known by different names in various regions. The names of the art in different states:
• Aipan in Uttarakhand
• Alpona in Bengal and Assam
• Aripana in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh
• Chauka pujan in Uttar Pradesh
• Mandana Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh
• Rangoli in Gujarat and Maharashtra
• Kolam in South
• Muggu in Andhra Pradesh
• Alpana, Chita, Jhoti and Muruja in Odisha.
The main purpose to draw aipans is to decorate the space with colours and symbols of good omen. This type of art form is passed from one generation to the other, thereby preserving the cultural heritage. Aipan consists of different motifs & designs, each dedicated to a particular occasion or deity. Needless to say, such a varied range of Aipan designs, adhere to different meanings & symbols. Aipans, by its sheer beauty & meaning, ooze an essence of purity, spirituality, positive vibes and a very welcoming aura to the space.
1. Vasundhara: this type of aipan is drawn on puja altar or places of worship, on the stairs leading to the entrance door of a home and as a decorative outline surrounding a tulsi plant. The designated place for decoration is first painted with a paste of water & red soil, called geru. After that vertical lines are made in odd numbers like 5, 7, 9 or 11 with white powder made from grounded soaked rice, that is called Bishwar.
2. Traditional Aipan: Geometric designs in the form of yantra or peetha, flowers & linear imprints are the constituent designs under the traditional aipans. The central design is as per the ritual, having strong religious meanings and outside design is extended to fit in the space with generic motifs. These designs can be drawn on the floors, staircases and courtyards for festive occasions or religious purposes.
3. Swastik: If there is any symbol of immense significance in the Aipan art form, it is definitely Swastik. This design has a Hindu religious significance as it represents all gods & goddesses, known & unknown. The symbolic significance of Swastik is creation & progress. The four arms in the Swastik inspire progress; the four arms originating from the central rectangle represent different religions. The central rectangle is called the ‘Omkar’& the lines which make the four arms are surrounded by dots which also of special significance. Use of dots are considered to be auspicious & holy in the Aipan art form; Aipan without dots are considered to be unholy & such an Aipan without dots are drawn on the 12th day of a person’s death.
4. Dhuliarghya Var Chauka: this type of Aipan is drawn during the occasion of wedding. Chauka is a type of small stool that is decorated with motifs like a tree. The top represents Shiva’s trishul/trident while the base represents Brahma the creator & the mid-section belongs to Vishnu. On the either side of this tree, there are two parrots & a Swastik in the centre. Such an elaborate design pattern symbolises good luck for the wedding.
Aipan is a beautiful art form with countless variations of design elements and symbols that have specific representation of physical forms and also feelings and expressions. These are extensively used in modern context on greetings cards, invitation cards, wedding cards and number of contemporary products to beautify them with meaning.
Aipan form of art beautifies the room with its splendid decorative patterns. With such simple ingredients, any place inside the house can become majestic.
Our Kalpvriksh logo is inspired by Aipan art form and Warli art with few contemporary essences added to it.
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