MATA NI PACHEDI ART
The 300-year tradition of painting narratives of the Goddess Durga in her various incarnations is practiced by the Vaghris of Gujrat. Also known as Mata na Chandarvo, these paintings literally mean ‘behind the Goddess’ and are displayed behind idols of Durga in temples and shrines. Goddess Durga is known to have 64 avatars, termed as the Chausath Yoginis (lit. 64 yoginis). The traditional format of the painting employs a rectangular narrative composition, where local folklores associated with the Goddess are depicted. The painting served as portable and temporary altar spaces for the community was constantly on the move. Now living in Ahmedabad, the settled life of the Vaghris has resulted in the concentration of this art practice in Gujarat. In the visual narrative, all aspects of the Goddess Durga are depicted in the painting. From the benevolent wish-granting peaceful deity to her violent avatar as goddess Kali who slays evil to establish divine goodness. Regardless of the incarnate form, Goddess Durga commands an important place in Gujarat, where the local populace believes her to be their domestic protector deity. During the festival of Navratri, thousands of joyful worshippers gather together to celebrate and dance around the idol of Durga.