The five-day celebrations of annual Chhattisgarh Rajyotsava are on in full swing, starting from November 1, which is marked as Chhattisgarh Foundation Day – the day when it was declared an independent state. The festival that is organised every year emphasises on showcasing the culture and traditions of the state. (Also read: Mental health benefits of getting tattoo)

As part of the celebrations, an exhibition was organised at the Science College ground of the capital, where a form of ancient tattooing called Bastar Tribal Tattoo became quite a hit among the youth. Youth who trained from Bastar Art Gallery Jagdalpur impressed with their becautiful tattoo designs and won hearts with their talent.

Bastar tribal tatto art was developed my men and women of the area in ancient times as an alternative to gold and silver ornaments. People also believed that getting tattoo at certain places on the face would help avoid natural calamities like lightning. However, the modern form of this tattooing is becoming quite a rage among youth as well.

Tattoo artist Jogi Ram Baghel of Kavapal village near Jagdalpur (Bastar) who was in search of employment after passing Class 12 landed up a job in Chhattisgarh Tourism, after which he was trained in tattoo art for 20 days at Badal Academy with the help of district administration. About 20 boys and girls also received training with him.

Thanking the State Government and the Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel, the tattoo artist said that the State Government has given new avenues of employment to the youth which is helping them earn income along with preserving their ancient culture.

He added that they are making tattoos with Tribal Art forms with a modern touch while maintaining its ancient significance which is being liked by the youth.

Dhanurjay Baghel, a young tattoo artist who came from Narayan Pal village said that they are working towards preserving Bastar’s traditional identity which makes them feel very happy. Along with him Sukhman Nag and Sandeep Baghel are other budding Bastar tribal tattoo artists. After making tattoos, the youth are also informed how to take care of it, so that they do not have any kind of inconvenience.

Happy to get the tattoo at a reasonable price, Akash Agrawal of Raipur who visited the exhibition said that he earlier got a tattoo done by paying 3,000 from the market, but the tattoo at the stall costed him only 600.

To make the tattoos contemporary, the youth of Bastar are giving a modern touch to the tattoos by using machines.

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