Tree of Life

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Sanjhi, the art of hand cutting designs on paper, is typical art of Mathura in Uttar Pradesh, the legendary home of the God Krishna. Traditionally, motifs from the Krishna stories are created in stencil and used to decorate spaces during festive seasons, or are used for filling in with colors in water and on the floors of temples. The cutting process requires enormous skill, concentration and patience, and the fine detail is achieved with specially designed scissors. Of late, striding lattice work patterns of Mughal origin as well as more contemporary themes have been introduced to widen the repertoire. At one time this art was believed to be practiced extensively over Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat but now it survives only in Mathura. Mr. Ram Soni, National Award winner given by the President of India, belongs the only family which has been involved in this art for five generations. This particular picture is a tree of life.