Ganjifa (derived from the Persian word ‘ganj’ or ‘treasure’) is an ancient but vibrant game of cards that can be dated back to the 15th century, mostly played in Persia and India. After Ganjifa cards fell out of use in Iran, India is the last country in the world to produce them. Currently, a handful of places in India produce them, among them Sawantwadi Lacquerwares. At our Online Art Workshop #TraditionalTreasures, artist Sangita Kumbhar of Sawantwadi Lacquerwares will demonstrate the techniques of the art and teach you the basics.
You will need:
- Familiarity in Hindi (as the workshop will be in conversational Hindi)
- Two 10 cm diameter circular cards
- Plain paper
- Brushes: Nos. 000, 1, 2, 4
- Colours: Orange, Poster Green, Poster White, Yellow, Poster Red, Poster Black, Mauve/Violet, Cerulean Blue (mix little white in it and keep it ready), Green (mix yellow and cerulean blue to get this shade)
About the presenters
Sawantwadi Lacquerwares was founded by the late Rajmata of Sawantwadi, Satvashila Devi Bhonsle, who actively revived the art of painting Ganjifa cards from scratch in 1973. She nurtured her artistic skills over the years, finding inspiration in the surrounding forests and painting tigers, birds and butterflies. The Late Rajmata affirmed that there was (and still is, to this day) a lot of demand for this craft on a global level. The Rajmata’s vision has now been taken on by Ranisaheb Shubhadadevi Bhonsle and her daughter-in-law Yuvrani Shraddharaje Bhonsle, who are working tirelessly to promote Ganjifa cards and showcase the art form to the world at large.
Artist Sangita Kumbhar has been with Sawantwadi Lacquerwares since 2013. Her designs adorn jewellery boxes, candles and much more.