Pattachitra from Odisha

Easy availability of Pattachitra paintings online

The internet has revolutionized traditional trade and commerce and other communication technologies—eCommerce and mCommerce being the new buzzwords. In this context, products and services and brands have geared up fast to find a present and transact online. This has mainly extended to art products also, and Odisha’s traditional handmade art Pattachitra has also quickly adapted to make available artifacts and Pattachitra paintings online.  

 Pattachitra is one of Odisha’s most original and ethnic style paintings that has quickly found an audience worldwide due to its colorful and mythical expressions. The Pattachitra compositions’ topic is generally founded on Hindu folklore and enlivened by Jagannath culture that is prevalent around its seat of origin.

 The initial days of eCommerce saw marketplaces like eBay, Amazon, and Etsy in the US they were occasionally listing select Pattachitra products in small numbers mostly carried to foreign lands by an enterprising Odia NRI community who were guided by motives of personal profits as well as an intent to popularize this slowly forgotten art form. Encouraged by the enthusiastic response from the online buyers, they tried to increase the variety and range of their stocks, slowly enhancing it to include palm leaf etchingspapier-mache masks, toys and dolls, and Patta Chitra fabrics mainly drawn over Sarees, Dupattas, and dress materials.

 However, the major obstacle in the way was the large shipping cost. Typically, it costs about $15-100 to send an international merchandise package from Odisha to the US, with other locations varying proportionately. This discouraged many enterprising smalltime traders from keeping the direct shipping limited and rather replenish their stock through their annual sojourns to Odisha.

 However, things have evolved many methods like Amazon FBA, Cash on Delivery, and Collect & Pay to ship. Now artists from small studios of Raghurajpur in Odisha, a small village where Pattachitra is said to have originated, can showcase their creations via a Facebook or Instagram page, and customers based in another continent can choose and order via Collect & Pay or Cash on Delivery directly from the artist. In the first, while a courier company can collect the merchandise at the artiste’s doorstep, paying the price while the shipping is paid by the buyer on successful delivery. Similarly, in CoD, the artist sends the package to the customer with the option to pay only if the item reaches his doorstep. In Amazon FBA, the seller lists the products on the Amazon website, which showcases it to global buyers and sends Amazon a bulk package of his creations with Amazon handling the distribution and delivery.

Things have also improved with major e-commerce firms like Flipkart and Amazon pledging their support to rural artisans by helping the in onboarding and offering listing and photography support. With their large supply chain, they enable sellers to despatch their packages right from the doorstep and collect smooth payments from customers.

With Covid-19, with all types of shopping gradually moving to digital channels, the scope of buying ethnic Odisha artifacts and Pattachitra paintings online is poised for tremendous growth in the days ahead.

However, the customer may sometimes face the question of how to ascertain the authenticity of Pattachitras I am buying online? To know more, read our earlier post: Where to buy authentic Pattachitra online?

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