(Last Updated on : 26/09/2014)
Naya is a village located in Pingla block of West Midnapore district
in the Indian state West Bengal
. The place is famed for hosting a group of Bengali artisans called Potuas alias Chitrakars which refers to the picture makers. These artisans are specialized in making painted narrative scrolls called pot. The Potuas of Naya village have gained much prominence over the last decade owing to the support of NGO and other organizations. Consequently the exquisite narrative scrolls made by them acquired new markets and audiences in the country. Potuas was a dying art form but now has regained its lost vigour with various initiatives.
Art Works of Naya
These Potuas mainly paint various tales from Hindu Epic Mahabharata
, narratives from Hindu Bengali religious text named Mangal-kavyas, social messages and even incidents such as 9/11 attack in long canvas fixed on scrolls of cloth. They also sing them while unfolding the scrolls. These artisans sing the songs written by them which are popularly known as Poter Gaan. However presently in Naya village, many of the Potuas have stopped singing and only paint. In addition to painting scrolls, they are also involved in painting house walls and making wooden painted images and souvenirs. Through their artworks, the Potuas address various events from folklore, epics and current affairs which have also rendered them popularity among the present generations also. In the village, there are many Potuas who have received prestigious awards including the Presidents Award for their work. Many of them have also participated in ceremonies held abroad.
Pot Maya Festival
Since the year 2010, Naya village hosts a three day festival in the month of November which is known as Pot Maya. The exquisite artworks of the villagers are exhibited in the festival. It marks a grand celebration in the village when the festive spirit and aura can be actually experienced. During the festival Pot Maya, workshops are held for the artists for partaking at nominal cost. These are also attended by the tourists at a specific fee. Vibrant musical performance grace the festival from evening to night in which many eminent artists perform.
Potua Population in Naya
Almost every family in Naya village has a Potua. Previously the women of the village were more associated with doll making. However later under the guidance of senior Potuas many of them have taken up Patachitra
designing. The art also reflects their innovative thinking. Focusing on the commercial aspects, different kinds of souvenirs are also made by them. The village of Naya has an equal distribution of Hindu and Muslims but a great communal harmony can be witnessed among them which are also evident in their artworks.
Naya village can be reached through roadways and railways. Balichak is the nearest railway station which can be reached from Howrah
by a local train. Buses or private cabs can be hired for reaching Naya village through road.