The Mural Art of Lippan Kaam and Mirror Work

Adorning the walls and ceilings of ITC Narmada, one finds the recurring mural art of Lippan Kaam (also known as Chhitar Kaam), and Abhla Work or Mirror work, the traditional mud and mirror work from the region of Kutch in Gujarat. The technique of decorating the walls Bhungas, (mud huts), with mud and mirror embellishments is a form of local community art that is found in almost all homes in the region. Largely practiced by communities such as Rabari, Mutwa, Marwada Harijan, and Kumbhar, this art form can be traced to the potters from Sindh who transferred their art to the walls that provided a larger canvas. Mostly done by women, Lippan Kaam is created using semi-solid mixture from animal dung and clay in equal proportions. Beginning with a border that acts like a frame, the women create intricate symmetrical designs using mirrors to decorate the traditionally white artwork. The Abhla (mirrors) produce a glitter and shine that illuminate the walls, brightening up the otherwise bleak surrounding of the desert, and the scintillating murals bring life, gaiety, and beauty to generally harsh life of people of Kutch. Some common motifs are peacocks, camels, elephants, mango trees, temple, scenes from everyday life, etc. Several walls at ITC Narmada display the Lippan art and mirror work through beautiful geometrical designs, giving a feel of the traditional mural craft of Kutch.


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