Empowering Women Artisans, Protecting the Environment, and Restoring Eyesight

More than 2,500 years ago, women living in remote villages in the northeast of India painted colorful geometric patterns on plastered walls for festivals and sacred celebrations, such as births and weddings. They created their vibrant folk art — called “Madhubani”— with fingers, brushes, nib-pens, and matchsticks using natural dyes and pigments from local plants and vegetables, passing down their technique from generation to generation. Madhubani —which means “forest of honey”— is still practiced in the region. Although today the women paint primarily on cloth, paper, and canvas.

Thanks to Shagun Sharma of Wellesley, Madhubani folk artists’ designs now adorn clothing under her label Naytra Couture.Learn more in the Digital Edition of the Fall 2021 Issue of WellesleyWeston Magazine.