The painting which is painted on the walls of a kohbar is also called “Kohbar” and this is one of the styles of the famous Madhubani Painting. The Kohbar Ghar or the nuptial chamber is the room in which the painting has traditionally been done in the Maithil culture to bless a newlywed couple.
Symbolises Love & Prosperity
The Kohbar Ghar or the nuptial chamber is the room in which the painting has traditionally been hung in Maithili culture to bless a newlywed couple. The central theme of these Kohbar paintings is love and prosperity. Originally the paintings depicted an assembly of symbolic images of the lotus plant, the bamboo grove, fishes, birds and snakes in union. These images represented fertility and proliferation of life. There used to be a tradition that the newly married bride and groom would spend three nights in the kohbar ghar without cohabiting. On the fourth night they would consummate the marriage surrounded with the colourful painting.
Elements of Kohbar painting – The “Kohbar” painting is filled with rich detail, each contributing significance to the meaning of the whole. The dominant theme is pond life, filled with lifeforms and abundant in its productive powers. The painting seeks to ensure fertility of the bride and groom who, as when a seed is dropped into a pond, should produce offspring abundantly.
The most prominent image looming largest on the canvas is the ring of lotus, called ‘purain’. The lotus leaves circle is a symbol of the female sex.
This painting of the kohbara ghar is in the interest of the bride and groom. The painting is meant to assure a romantic bond between husband and wife, which will lead to his permanent affection for her and to their productivity. The painting depicts Gauri Puja, where the bride leads in worship of elephant who has brought her this husband.
Bamboo is an invariable part of kohbar, frequently as stylized as this one. Bamboo is a visual play on a verbal pun; the words for “lineage” and for “bamboo” are almost identical (bans and baans). The women artists iconize the husband’s patrilineage as a stand of bamboo. The future of the groom’s patrilineage is assured with the arrival of a bride of good family.
Surya- the Sun, and Chandra- the moon, Shiva are among the gods who watch and witness the marriage of bride and groom. The nine planets are also usually depicted. So through the painting, blessings are for a successful marital life as that of the above deities.
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