surface covered with paintings of warriors; battle scenes, horses, carts, and more; large mustachioed figure in red at center holds a spear and lotus; faces four other seated figures

Scroll Painting Dedicated to Pabuji, 20th century

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This painted scroll depicts the life of Pabuji, a deified folk hero who emerged in 14th century Rajasthan, India. The larger figurative representations feature Pabuji in profile, framed by multiple windows, while many of the complex scenes depict Pabuji as the victor of battles. A storyteller priest would have unrolled the scroll in the presence of a small audience and narrated Pabuji’s life through prose and song, while pointing to the images as his guide. Because the hero of the story is also revered as a regional god, the performance would have been imbued with ritual significance. Other painted scrolls tell non-religious stories and were used purely for entertainment purposes, especially before the introduction of cinema. Since the time of this work's original creation, the number of traveling storytellers in India has decreased dramatically.

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Details
Title
Scroll Painting Dedicated to Pabuji
Role
Artist
Accession Number
2013.59
Curator Approved

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surface covered with paintings of warriors; battle scenes, horses, carts, and more; large mustachioed figure in red at center holds a spear and lotus; faces four other seated figures