Flash Card

LAKSHYA-75 [Day-9] Static Flash Cards for IAS Prelims 2020

Indian Mural Paintings; Giant Clay Figures of India; votive terracotta figures; temple-bells; richest collection of jewellery during 300 BCE–300 CE; sanjhi art; natural fibers; National Award; tussar silk; Indian Embroidery; do-rukha; dance Manjeeras;
By IASToppers
March 14, 2020



In which dance Manjeeras are worn in the legs?

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  • In terah-tali dance Manjeeras are worn in the legs and additional ones on their arms and shoulders.

Enrich Your Learning:

Percussion Instruments:


  • It is an instrument unique to Punjab.
  • The chikha is made up of 14 wooden sticks joint together as a lattice.
  • By opening and sharply shutting the chikkha, a sharp sound similar to clapping is produced.


  • It has small metal discs loosely attached to it which strike against each other when the arms of the chimta are struck.


  • The mashak is usually played by the Dholis of Rajasthan as accompaniment to popular folk melodies.


  • It is a stick with a carved squirrel or fish at the top.
  • A cord fixed to the top jerks the galad up with a sharp click, while bells fixed to the bottom of the kirla jingle.


  • The khadtaal is made of two similar pieces of wood with brass fittings.
  • One piece of it has space for a thumb, the other for four fingers, these are struck together to produce a simple percussive beat.


Manjeeras are a pair of flat metallic disks that are beaten together to produce a rhythmic metallic sound.



Indian Mural Paintings are paintings made on walls of caves and palaces. True Or False?

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  • True

Enrich Your Learning:

Wall Painting:

  • Paintings are done on walls to invoke the gods to bless the soil, keep animals healthy for work in the field, grant a family healthy progeny after marriage, and bless a newly constructed home.
  • Paintings found on the walls of religious buildings depict a human quest to understand a larger universe and power.
  • India has the largest number of art forms, calls them styles or schools, anywhere in the world, mainly because it’s cultural heritage is rich, many-layered and a vibrant, living one.

10,000 – 8000 BCE:

  • Prehistoric paintings in rock shelters and walls of caves show early life and activities of human society.

1–1000 CE:

  • Buddhist viharas and chaitya in Ajanta in Maharashtra, Alchi monastery in Ladakh, and in Bagh in Madhya Pradesh have murals depicting the life of Buddha and other religious stories.

1000–1700 CE:

  • Wall paintings can be found in the temples of Kailashnath Temple of Kanchipuram in Tamil Nadu.
  • Recently wall paintings were found in the Brihadesvara Temple of Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu.
  • Early examples of Jaina paintings were found in Sittanavasal in Pudukottai District of Tamil Nadu.
  • At Virubhadra Temple in Lepakshi are examples of the Andhra style of mural painting.

1600–1900 CE:

  • Mural paintings also adorned palaces.
  • Excellent examples are found in Bundi, Jaipur and Nagaur and the fortified palace in Patiala in the Punjab.

1900–2000 CE:

  • Mural paintings continue today in many of our village communities especially Bihar, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Gujarat.
  • Artists of today, like Jatin Das and M.F. Husain, have created paintings for contemporary building interiors.



In context of Indian Embroidery, what is do-rukha?

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  • There are shawls from Kashmir that are magically two-sided with the same design embroidered in different colours on each side. This is known as do-rukha.

Enrich Your Learning:

Indian Embroidery:

  • In Kutch in Western India, the women embroider their trousseaus—skirts, cholis, veils, quilts, decorative pieces for their homes.
  • Punjab is famed for its traditional embroidery called phulkari-flowering work.
  • An allover embroidered shawl (dupatta) is called a bagh.
  • Sujni, from Bihar, is a form of quilted embroidery with mainly narrative themes.
  • There are 22 different chikan stitches.
  • Chikanwork from Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, has many different stitches worked on cotton mull, creating a textured relief of flowers, paisleys and stars.
  • The stitches have wonderful names—ghaski-patti as delicate as grass, murri which looks just like a grain of rice, and keel, the tip of a nail.
  • Kantha, embroidery from Bengal, is made of thousands of fine stitches.
  • In Bangladesh and India kantha was used to make quilts and coverlets.
  • Old sarees were folded together and embroidered with coloured threads pulled from saree borders.
  • Patchwork and appliqué are range from the tiny geometric patchwork gota done in Rampur and Lucknow, to the bold, vividly patterned pictorial quilts of Rajasthan and Gujarat-each bride was expected to have at least a dozen.
  • Pipli in Orissa has its own unique form of appliqué—bold red, yellow and green dancing elephants and parrots, outlined with white or black chain-stitch on equally colourful base fabric.
  • The Lambani, Lambada and Banjara gypsy tribes from Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka in South India create spectacular embroidery.
  • Kasuti of North Karnataka is a combination of four different



India is the only source of tussar silk that comes from which genus?

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  • India is the only source of tussar silk that comes from Antheria Assamia moth.

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  • It has been cultivated in India since the Harappan Civilisation.
  • Raw cotton is a round fluffy white ball growing on a bush about three feet high.
  • Earth, seeds and other impurities are removed from the cotton balls by
  • It is spun on a spinning wheel to the required thickness and texture and is then ready for weaving.
  • The thread is classified by its thickness: the thinner the thread, the higher the number of counts, and the finer the fabric.


  • It is made from the cocoon of a creamcoloured moth which feeds on the leaves of the mulberry tree.
  • The caterpillar of the silk moth spins an oval cocoon of very fine silk, the size of a pigeon’s egg.
  • The silk is generally yellow, but sometimes white.
  • It takes about seven days for the cocoon to be fully spun round with silk.
  • The silk thread is reeled and twisted, dried and polished.
  • It is then wound on a spindle and spun.
  • The softness, the lustre and the tensile quality of silk make it one of the most prized materials for weaving fabrics.

Mix of Silk and Cotton:

  • Another glorious fabric is mashru, a lustrous weave from Gujarat, patterned in brilliant multicoloured stripes, or dots as fine as rice grains.
  • Though it appears like silk it is not really silk.
  • Mashru, and himru, have a twisted weave with a silk underside to replicate the look and feel of satin while technically remaining cotton.


  • Sheep wool is the most common, but in India goat wool, camel hair, and ibex hair is also used.
  • In North India the Angora rabbit is bred for its fine, long, very soft and silky hair.
  • Its warmth, tensile strength and resistance to fire, give this wool its special quality.
  • Shawl weaving in Kashmir was introduced by the ruler ZainulAbidin in the fifteenth century bringing in Turkistan weavers to teach the twill tapestry technique to local weavers.
  • As many as fifty colours were used on one shawl.
  • The rough goat wool dhablas worn by shepherds and camel herders in Kutch and the Thar Desert have been reinvented into wonderful contemporary
  • Today designers are translating indigenous motifs and colours from tribal shawls of the North-east and Kinnauri shawls of Himachal into softer merino and sheep wool.



Nazir Ahmed and Subhadra Devi received National Award for excellence in which art?

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  • Papier-mâché in India

Enrich Your Learning:

Papier-mâché in India:

  • The craft is practiced in Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Delhi, Jammu and Kashmir, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal.
  • In Kashmir, a large variety of both utilitarian and decorative papier -mâché items are produced such as writing table sets, dressing table wares, boxes, bowls, bangles, lampstands, panels for ceilings, picture frames, caddies, screens and cabinets.
  • Nazir Ahmed Mir developed great skill and interest in papiermâché craft which inspired him to make many new, uncommon and delicate designs. There are at least twenty of his designs in the market.
  • Nazir Ahmed Mir received the National Award for excellence in papier-mâché craft in 2000 and 2001.
  • In Madhya Pradesh, a wide range of products are available in papier -mâché, such as human figures, birds, animals, caricatures, statues of gods and goddesses, models of Khajuraho and Sanchi.
  • Important centres for this craft are Gwalior, Ujjain, Indore and Harda.
  • In Rajasthan, papier-mâché is a traditional craft with a concentration of craftsperson in Jaipur. The products include animals and birds, particularly cocks, parrots and pigeons. Papier-mâché bowls are also produced in Banasthali.
  • Amusing folk toys with detachable or hinged parts such as nodding tigers and elephants, old men and women with comic expressions, are made in papier-mâché in Orissa.
  • Subhadra Devirecieved the National Award for excellence in papier mache craft in
  • Papier-mâché figurines and different kinds of birds are made by women from Madhubani and Darbhanga Districts of Bihar.
  • It is also popular in Kerala. Trained artists in Kozhikode make a large number of figures based on Kathakali and temple models out of paper pulp.
  • The craftsmen of Purulia in West Bengal make a variety of masks of mythological characters that are used during folk festivals by the Chhau dancers of both Orissa and West Bengal.



In context of Paper Toys, what is sanjhi art?

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  • Sanjhi is the ancient art of hand-cutting intricate designs on paper, originating from Mathura in Uttar Pradesh.

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Paper Toys:

  • Discarded items including newspaper, string, rubber bands are recycled to create toys.
  • The toymaker creates a number of different playthings such as kites, puppets, string-manipulated toys, rattles, drums, damrus and whistles, moving toys like windwheels, animal toys like the jumping snake, mystery boxes, and jack-in-the-box kind of toys.
  • Indian craftsmen also produce a wide variety of decorative and utilitarian items by using plain, white and coloured papers.
  • During festivals and marriages the craftsmen make exquisitely beautiful paper-cut flowers and varied colorful items that are used for decoration.
  • A stencil is a piece of paper, plastic or metal which has a design cut out of it.
  • When the stencil is placed on a surface and paint applied over it, the paint goes through the cut out portions and leaves a design on the surface when the stencil is removed.
  • During Muharram a model of the tomb of Imam Hussain called the Tazia is adorned with floral designs made out of coloured papers.
  • In Poland people use paper-cuts of the ‘Tree of Life’, guarded by two cocks.
  • The Mexicans use cut-paper flags with designs of planets, plants and a repetitive border with triangles that symbolise male and female energies.

In China, peasants have developed papercuts into a rich individual popular art. The paper cuts are stuck on walls or window-panes of their cottages and changed frequently.



In use of natural fibers, ceremonial baskets and headwear are formed by which techniques?

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  • Ceremonial baskets and headwear are often formed by techniques such as coiling, twining, plaiting and are embellished with feathers, shells, coins and a bold use of pattern and color.

Enrich Your Learning:

Worldwide Use of Natural Fibers:

  • Papyrus is a tall flowering reed and its use is functional and religious and was part of the mythology of ancient Egypt.
  • Papyrus was used as papyrus boats that were the lifeline of the River Nile, sails were made from the bark, seams of the larger wooden boats were caulked with papyrus, rigging was made of papyrus fibres and papyrus flower was a sacred symbol of the pharaohs.
  • The Mbuti Pygmies living in the Ituri forests of Equatorial Africa are hunter-gatherers known for their knowledge of plants for multiple uses.
  • In Europe, North America and Alaska mats are made of grass, rush and sedge.
  • The grasslands of South Africa provide material for coiled basketry while wetlands provide reeds and rushes for mats.
  • In the cold and temperate forests of North America and Europe, the barks of the birch tree and hardwoods of deciduous trees are used as slats in basketry.
  • In the tropical and sub-tropical regions of Asia, Africa and South America, the jungles are a rich source of bamboo and cane, which provide bamboo and leaves for building shelters, tools and implements for agriculture, fishing and the daily needs of settled communities.
  • The use of bamboo in Bangladesh, Burma, South-East Asia, China and Japan is very extensive and is integral to the culture of the East.
  • Coiled basketry made of grass fibre or palm leaf fibre is found in Morocco, East Africa, India, Ghana, Mexico, Bolivia, Guatemala and islands of the Pacific Ocean.
  • Japan has a unique sensibility for bamboo that is reflected in the forms of traditional architecture, fences, craft, art and textiles.



The richest collection of jewellery during 300 BCE–300 CE is found in which Buddhist centre of learning?

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  • The richest collection of jewellery was discovered in Taxila, an important Buddhist centre of learning.

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Jewellery through the Ages:

3000–1500 BCE:

  • The excavations at the Harappan site have uncovered beads and shell bangles.
  • The shell bangles are exactly similar to the ones worn by married women in
  • Gold sheets shaped into head bands were also found.

300 BCE–300 CE:

  • Here the jewellery exhibits Greek influence and the introduction of new technology such as filigree and granulation.
  • A necklace excavated at Ur, which is made up of finely designed pendants of lion-heads has a remarkable likeness to the garuda necklace prepared in Kerala.
  • Early Greek jewellery has a close similarity with some of the traditional jewellery of Kutch and
  • The patterns of some Egyptian jewellery, especially armlets with snakeheads, are found in India, as well.

400 CE:

  • The kanthi, a necklace worn close to the neck and the phalakhara, a long necklace comprising a number of tablets strung with a series of beads, is seen in the early Gupta period and is found in use even today in most parts of North India.
  • The chudamani, shaped like a full-blown lotus with many petals, was worn at the parting of the hair and is similar to the present day bore of
  • In the Ramayana, there is mention of Sita wearing a nishka necklace. Nishka, a gold coin, is also referred to in the Jataka stories.

900 CE:

  • Nose ornament appears to have been introduced by the Arabs after the tenth century and, over the years; it became common all over India and became associated with marriage.


  • The Mughals had fine jewellery and used large precious stones.
  • Jahangir’s treasury, described by Sir Thomas Roe, an English traveller, had 37.5 kilograms of diamonds and 3000 kilograms of pearls and rich jewellery, often colourful enamel jewellery embedded with precious stones.

1900 onwards:

  • With body piercing becoming popular in the West, young Indian men and women have begun piercing not just the nose and ear, but their tongue, the navel and other parts of the body to wear jewellery.



Numerous ritualistic articles made of metal in Gujarat are large temple-bells. True Or False?

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  • True

Enrich Your Learning:

Metal Craft across India:

  • Teamwork is essential in the craft of metal-work.
  • In the Kinnaur District of Himachal Pradesh, the metal objects used for religious purposes are a unique synthesis of Hindu and Buddhist designs.
  • The thunderbolt or vajra motif is commonly seen on kettles and jars.
  • Koftgari is the term for a type of silver and gold damascene work produced in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, Jaipur, Rajasthan, Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh and Punjab.
  • The koftgari process is simpler and less time consuming, and allows for much freer decoration.
  • Bidri, a technique named after its place of origin, Bidar, Andhra Pradesh, is the application of inlay (mainly silver) to objects cast in a relatively soft alloy of zinc, copper and lead.
  • After the inlay work is completed, the ground is stained black using chemicals, thus creating a splendid contrast to the silver decoration.
  • In Kerala to make the uruli (wide-mouthed cooking vessel, with flat or curved rims) the lost wax process is used.
  • Kerala also has a great tradition in making metal tumblers for drinking, which range in size and are very elegantly shaped.
  • Nachiarkoil in Thanjavar District of Tamil Nadu is an important bell-metal centre.
  • This is due to the presence of light brown sand called vandal on the banks of the Cauvery, ideally suited for making moulds.



In context of Giant Clay Figures of India, votive terracotta figures are made in which states of India?

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  • Votive terracotta figures are made in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.

Enrich Your Learning:

Giant Clay Figures of India:

  • In Bastar, on amavasya of Bhadrapad (August to September), tribals offer terracotta bulls, tigers, elephants and horses, sometimes with one or two riders, to the goddess whom they worship for wealth, health and protection from evil spirits.
  • In Tamil Nadu the dramatic larger-than-life size image of Aiyanar, the local deity, is surrounded by a sea of attendants, horses and bulls.
  • They serve as gram devatas who stand at the entrance of the village and protect it.
  • Artist follow the traditional practice to create the inner core with local grasses bound together to form the legs, arms and head.
  • The grasses are often swathed with thin cotton cloth.
  • Then layer upon layer of clay is carefully applied to the body of the goddess to gradually build it up.
  • Over a period of several days, each layer is allowed to dry completely so that no cracks appear and there is no warping.
  • Once dry, the entire figure of the goddess is painted with natural mineral colours.
  • Ornately decorated clay horses, huge armies of terracotta figures and assemblies of village deities with their attendants can be seen under the trees in village grounds in Bankura District, West Bengal.
Daily Current Flash Cards 2020 Prelims 2020

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