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Orange is the colour that exists between red and yellow. Whenever we think of the orange colour, we think of it as a striking and bold colour. In western culture, this colour is polarising, you either hate it or you love it. In the eastern culture, orange has been considered a sacred colour for many centuries. While some people find it a vibrant and flamboyant colour, many people also find it garish. Love it or hate it, you cannot deny the fact that this colour arouses an immediate reaction when you see it. Unlike colours like white, orange can have many meanings. For some people it is sacred, for some it represents royalty and for some, it is the signal for danger. This colour has thrived in the arts and crafts of artisans for centuries. Especially in India, orange has an extraordinary significance. Follow this complete article to understand why orange is the heart for the Indian artisans.
Table of Content
- History of the Orange Colour
- Reasons for the Orange Obsession of Artisans
- Association of the Orange Colour with Several Religions
- Orange- the Colour of Visibility
- Psychology Around the Use of Orange Colour
3) Popular Handicrafts Associated With the Orange Colour
- a) Pahari Painting
- b) Miniature Painting
- c) Embroidered and Hand Printed Textiles
History of the Orange Colour
In ancient India, many artisans and workmen used this colour in the production of their items. Artisans from the area of Kutch, Gujarat used orange carnelians during the Indus Valley Civilisation. Various medieval artists also used it in the colouring of manuscripts. A pigment called orpiment was produced by the people of ancient times which resembled the orange colour. This pigment was very important for the purposes of trade in the Roman empire and as a medicine in countries like China although it is a highly toxic pigment. Alchemists that existed during that time used this pigment because of its yellow-orange colour so that they could produce gold. Portuguese merchants and travelers who came to Asia in the 15th and the 16th century carried this colour with themselves to Europe and there it was known as naranja or laranja, their names deriving primarily from the Sanskrit word naranga. Rajas and maharajas of India have emphasised the use of the orange colour for many centuries which can be seen in their grand forts and palaces across various states of the country.
Reasons for the Orange Obsession of Artisans
There are several reasons owing to the obsession of artisans, workmen, and across the country with the orange colour. Let us find out these reasons one by one.
Association of the Orange Colour with Several Religions
Starting from Hinduism and Buddhism to religions like Confucianism, the orange colour has a deep-seated place in these religions. The followers of Confucius considered this colour as a colour of transformation. Most of us might guess that the name of this colour has been derived from the orange fruit which is not true. In India and China, the orange colour was named after saffron, which is one of the costliest and the finest dye across the world. The belief system of Confucianism comprises the interaction or the meeting of the male active principle and the female passive principle. The male active principle is known as yang and the female passive principle is known as yin. Nobility and perfection were represented by the yellow colour while power and happiness were represented by the red colour. The interaction of both the colours gave birth to the colour of transformation- orange.
There is a wide range of orange colours ranging from slightly orange red to slightly orange-yellow. One such colour is saffron which is very closely associated with the religions of Hinduism and Buddhism. You can see gurus or monks from both religions draped in the angavastram which is generally orange in colour. In Hinduism, you can see Lord Krishna generally dressed in yellow and orange colours. In Buddhism, the colour of the robes worn by the monks signifies the renunciation of worldly pleasures and the commitment and acceptance of order. According to the scriptures and Buddhist commentaries, the dye of the robe that the monks wear is obtained from six different substances namely bark, plants, leaves, roots and tubers, flowers and fruits. Most artisans and followers of Buddhism, Hinduism, Confucianism and so on like to replicate this colour on the art or craft that they create. It provides them a sense of satisfaction. Using the orange colour becomes one of the ways to pay respect to their religion and culture.
Orange- the Colour of Visibility
Surveys conducted across various regions of the country show that the orange colour is most associated with warmth, fire, amusement, energy, positivity, and so on. Orange arouses a sense of warmth and excitement in the minds of people when they see it. Owing to these factors, artisans use this colour primarily in most of their crafts. It is applied in various types of miniature and pahari paintings by the artisans to extract a feeling of joyousness and ecstasy from the viewer. World-renowned painters used orange colour in their paintings. The famous art of Phulkari that comes from the region of Punjab also employs this colour in its making. The Madhubani paintings coming from the region of Bihar are highly demanded in the global market. It is made using natural colours, one of which is orange. The orange colour is obtained from the flowers of the Palash tree.
Psychology Around the Use of Orange Colour
Along with the philosophy of religions attached to this colour, there are many psychological aspects that make this colour extremely popular among artisans and workmen. Orange is a very dominant colour emerging from the amalgamation of the power of the colour red and the brightness of the colour yellow. It is a colour that instantly energises people who view it. In both the eastern and the western cultures, connotations like ‘healthy’, ‘physically fit, and so on are attached to this colour. Orange usually is known to evoke feelings of positivity and optimism.
Popular Handicrafts Associated With The Orange Colour
Although most of the handicrafts produced in India have a touch of orange colour in them, there are special arts and crafts that can be associated especially with this colour. Let us now learn about these handicrafts.
Pahari painting, also popularly known as Pahari Kalam, has a unique touch of orange colour in it. This form of painting flourished in the 17th and 19th centuries. We can find these paintings in the states of Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh. Pahari paintings usually depict natural scenery, gods and goddesses and flora, and fauna of the particular state. The paper in which these paintings are painted are very special in nature. These papers are called the Sialkot paper which is covered with a thick layer of white liquid and then smoothed over with the help of a conch shell. This helps in providing delicacy and firmness to the paper. All the ingredients used to make it are natural and environment friendly. We can find many of these paintings based on Lord Krishna on the internet.
Miniature paintings from the state of Rajasthan are eye-catching and have flamboyant and elegant look. These paintings come in various colours, however on,e can see the presence of colours like orange, yellow and red primarily in these paintings. Paintings from Rajasthan are a mix of indigenous and Mughal styles. Rajasthani miniature paintings flourished under various schools namely the Mewar School, the Kishangarh School, the Bikaner School, and the Alwar schooll. Artisans and workmen from this region usually paint the tales from Hindu epics like the Mahabharata and the Ramayana and leelas of Lord Krishna.
Embroidered and Hand Printed Textiles
Embroidered and hand-printed textiles are one of the categories of handicrafts that constitute the majority of the export numbers of India. There are innumerable embroidered crafts that are exported from India to countries like the US, UK, Australia, Germany, France, Sweden, Saudi Arabia, and so on. World-famous embroideries like chikankari, aari, banjara, gota, phulkari, shisha, kantha, toda, kashmiri, and so on are made using bright colours like orange, red, green, and yellow. These embroideries have won accolades in the global market and are in rising demand with each coming year. Hand-printed textiles like bandhani, patola, kalamkari, ikat, ajrakh, dabu, bagru are also in gigantic demand worldwide. These textiles have made a spurt in the global market owing to their unique features. Unlike machine-made textiles, these textiles are made with sheer creativity and the hard work of the artisans who are very well trained in this art.
There are several other crafts like toys, imitation jewellery, woodworks and so on where you can find a touch of the orange colour. If you want to buy different varieties of handicrafts all under one umbrella, Craftezy is the perfect platform for you. It provides you with 100% authentic and premium quality products from certified vendors coming from different parts of India. It helps you at each stage and makes the entire process of your buying journey hassle-free.
Buy Indian Handicrafts from Craftezy at the Most Genuine Rates
There are several other crafts like toys, imitation jewellery, woodworks and so on where you can find a touch of the orange colour. If you want to buy different varieties of handicrafts all under one umbrella, Craftezy is the perfect platform for you. It provides you with 100% authentic and premium quality products from certified vendors coming from different parts of India. It helps you at each stage and makes the entire process of your buying journey hassle-free. Craftezy has surveyed its clients from across countries like the US, the UK, Australia, Canada, Saudi Arabia, Germany, France, and so on and has found few key insights on why they choose Craftezy over other handicraft trade platforms.
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