Cheriyal Paintings and Masks
India (Telangana) | Asia
The practice of storytelling in India is historically rich and rooted in various communities across the country and most prolific in folk traditions. One of such traditions is Cheriyal Art from Telangana and Andra Pradesh, which tells tales from religious texts and of rural life on scrolls painted with bright colours, sourced from natural materials. The Cheriyal scrolls are used by bards as they travel through towns and villages to narrate the painted stories, accompanied by song and dance. The storytellers also used Cheriyal masks to help to build the intrigue for the gathered crowd listening to their stories. These masks would be sold in the village once the stories were over. Today, the masks are done in smaller sizes and sold as decorative items.
Cheriyal art is today survived by a couple of families in the region who work to keep the tradition alive.
D Sai Kiran Varma is one of the few artists in the country specialised in Cheriyal art, which he learnt from his parents - state award winners. He studied Fine Art at Sri Venkateswara College of Fine Arts, Hyderabad, specialising in painting with the aim of preserving Cheriyal art
In the photo: D Sai Kiran Varma