Updated March 4th, 2024 at 14:32 IST

Majuli’s Traditional Arts of Mask Making And Manuscript Paintings Earns The GI Tag

The mask-making art and the manuscript paintings of Majuli Island, Assam, have the prestigious GI (Geographical Identification) tag. 

Reported by: Garvit Parashar
Majuli Mask Making And Manuscript Paintings Earns The GI Tag | Image:X: @jayanta_malla
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Assam: The Majuli mask and the manuscript painting the cultural heritage of Assam state have been given the GI (Geographical Indication) tag. The mask craft of Majuli is also known as Mukha Shilpa. This recognition will help these traditional arts reach large audiences and make Majuli Island more famous. This island is known for its Vaishnavite monasteries, or Xatras. 

Jayanta Mallabaruah, minister in the Assam Government, shared a post on X (formerly Twitter). He wrote, “Stepping further into the realm of preserving our treasured heritage!

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Majuli’s Mask Craft and Manuscript Painting has been granted the prestigious GI-tag, celebrating its rich heritage and intricate artistry. These traditional crafts reflect the cultural essence of Assam while showcasing the skilled artisans preserving our cultural legacy.”

This mask-making art of Majuli dates back to medieval times, after it was introduced by Neo-Vaishnavite saint Mahapurush Srimata Sankardeva. The Manuscript painting of Majuli Island tells the historical stories of Mahabharat, Ramayan, and Bhagvat Purana. Moreover, these paintings focus on events that are related to Lord Krishna. 

Mask-making is called Mukh Shilpa in the Assamese language. And this art form has been passed down from one generation to the next. These masks are divided into three parts: one is Barmukha, or Great Mask; the second is Lotokari Mukha, or Hanging Mask; and the third is Mukh Mukha, or Face Mask. 

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Published March 4th, 2024 at 14:32 IST