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Mud Works

Mud work is an intrinsic part of the ancient history of Punjab and has the rare distinction of having preserved its relevance even in today’s modern era where mud is perhaps used only for making pots.

The Punjabis were brilliant in the art of turning mounds of plain mud into incredible pieces of art. They had mastered the unique art of Chowk Poorna which involved using mud to plaster the walls of houses and then using one’s creativity and imagination to develop stunning designs that were guaranteed to grab one’s attention.

Women were adept at mud work, especially in the villages of Punjab where this art form was encouraged and developed. It is believed that these mud designs were initially done on the exterior walls of homes to ward off evil spirits and this superstition spread quickly. The villagers also used some forms of symbols in their designs which they believed could bring them an abundance of wealth, happiness and overall prosperity. With time, the element of superstition became less dominant in these designs and aesthetics began to play a more prominent role. Soon, mud work started appearing in the interiors of village homes as well as their art value were noticed and began garnering appreciation.

Uses of Mud Work

Today, mud work is generally done only on special occasions. Festivals like Diwali, Navratri, Holi and Karva Chauth are occasions when women of the house revive this amazing art form and bring drab walls to life. Homes in cities and villages use mud work to decorate their homes and compounds. It acts a major booster to the mundane lives, especially of the women folk in villages. The mud work art form is worshipped by women besides using it as a beautification tool for their homes. Another reason why this form of art has remained popular even after so many decades is that mud is cheap and easily available material and when used with water, lends itself to any shape.

Where Can One See Mud Works Today in Punjab

Those who visit Punjab during the festive season which starts from September and lasts till November will be able to witness this stunning art form in its full splendor and glory. The perfect symmetry, the sharpness of the intricate patterns and the finishing is simply breathtaking. The beauty of the mud work of Punjab is even more appreciable when we consider the fact that women do not go to any special training schools or art classes to learn them. They are simply passed on from one generation to another. Young girls pick it up from their mothers or elderly women in the family naturally. Quite clearly, there is something in the mud of Punjab as it readily yields to the dexterous hands of these women and emerge as spectacular patterns on walls of their homes.

Why Mud Works Continue To Astound the Present Generation

Mud work is a great way to add to the beauty of one’s home at almost negligible cost. Women rely completely on their creative instincts to create these designs and choose the right mix of colors to achieve stunning results. In fact, when one looks at these designs and artwork, it is hard to believe that they have been done by amateur hands with no formal training.

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