Mahishbathan, South Dinajpur, West BengalKushmandi

Nov,2018
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Address: Fatepur to Itahar, Road, Mahishbathan, West Bengal 733132
How to go: Avail Gour express(from Sealdah) or Radhikapur exp. (from Kolkata railway station), your destination will be Kaliyaganj Station. From Kaliyaganj take a toto or walk down to the Kaliagunj post office or Boyra kali temple. From there you will get bus or tracker, which takes around 35 min to reach the destination and passes through Fatehpur.
Pros: Good communication, simplicity among local people, road condition
Cons: Lack of Food shop
What to visit ? Village and artists' home and the art fair organised in November every year.
Company: People who understand and love the art and culture of Bengal
Minimum day/time to visit: 1 full day
Locality: Village
Expenses: Around 600
More Information: About Mukha

Basically Gamari wood is being used to make this craft. This wood is a bit costly but best for making Mukha. Because this wood is mostly protected from the woodworm and can be kept lifelong without any maintenance. But they have to import it now a days due to lack of availability, hence they sometimes use Jackfruit tree wood or Mango wood and process them to form Mukha musk.

Except this they use Bamboo tree to make other craft but not Mukha. But this Bamboo tree is not also the general one we see locally, The stream is much bigger size than the general one and they either have to import or cultivate separately.

After cutting and forming into the proper shape they desire, they keep them under the sun for drying and then they polish it with natural colors and gum which they extracts from the tree and again keep outside for drying. Then again they have to polish with different colors to form a piece of art. If you hold it a bigger one which they use to form Gomira dance, you will find it is not so light weighted at all. Now that is more surprising how they tie and fix it to their face while performing. More over you will be highly surprised to know that those musk does not have holes in eyes portion to see outside once they wear it, only in lips section it has the cut through which they have to see outside while performing and in some musk there is not cut at all. So you can understand how difficult is that to perform the dance being almost blind because this performance contains lots of energy and movements. Anyhow, all I can say this is very unique.

Best time to go

  • Musk fair is one of the precious festivals for the villagers, which is organised by Rural craft and cultural hubs of West Bengal.
  • The fair goes on for 3 days in November every year, Opposite to the ground of Folk Art Center they organize the exhibition as well as accommodation for the guests.
Specialty

  • Famous Gomira dance which has been organised by the village performer. They fix the wooden mask into their face and perform a typical art of dance form which consists of some story. It may be spiritual or anything related to our daily life. They believe this is to welcome the good force inside and get rid of the evil force.
  • They also organize "folk songs", "Chou dance" etc during the festival time.

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All Comments

  • avatar image
    Chandan Roy
    Posted on: 30th Nov, 2018

    Your representation is very good and photographs are excellent, goahed.

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