BHURI BAI OF ZHER – BHIL ARTIST of MADHYA PRADESH
Bhuri Bai of Zher came to Bhopal twenty years ago. She works at IGRMS on a daily wage basis. She has been painting with acrylic on canvas for the past nine years and has already established herself as a Bhil contemporary artist.
The walls of the Museum of Mankind, are covered with Bhuri Bai’s paintings. As a child, she would go to the haat or local fair, an integral part of Bhill life, where the colours inspired her to paint. She paints the laughter and fun of the Gad Bapsi festival, where young men try to scale an oiled pole to get the coconuts tied to its top.
Bhuri Bai was very young when her mother Jhabbu Bai taught her to build a kothi, (Granary) and Bhil hut. They shaped figures from a mixture of clay, cow dung and chaff and plastered them on the walls. This is known as bhittichitra or mittichitra, Bhuri likes cows, so she always made a cow for her wall. The Jhabvahut (the Bhil hut) in IGRMS, was made by Bhuri Bai and other Bhils.
Bhuri Bai of Zher loves to sing and paint.