Bihar’s most famous folk art is its Mithila (Madhubani) paintings, produced by women from the Maithili tribe. Traditionally, women from Madhubani and surrounding villages started to create line drawings on the walls of their homes from the first day of their marriage. Using pigments from spices, minerals, charcoal and vegetable matter, they painted local deities and scenes from mythology, often intermingled with special events and aspects of everyday life.
These paintings, in both black-and-white and strong primary colours, are now professionally produced on paper, canvas and silk, and marketed for sale. Original wall paintings can still be seen in homes around Madhubani, 160km northeast of Patna.