Narrative Scroll (Pata) showing scenes from the Ramayana (Legend of Lord Rama): sections 1 and 2
Artist/maker unknown, India
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In Bengal, wandering storytellers favored large scrolls to illustrate the stories they performed for villagers. Now in three sections, this complete scroll features selected episodes from a Bengali version of the Ramayana. Due to limited space, Hanuman's heroism is condensed to one panel (at the top of section 3), where his ability to grow to gigantic proportions and his deed of carrying the herb mountain are shown together. The twenty episodes on this scroll were likely chosen, and probably painted, by the storyteller himself to suit his own version of the story.