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Prajapati Khovar

The tradition of Prajapati Khovar comb cutting is to be found exclusively in the two hundred villages of the Upper Damodar valley also known as the Barkagaon valley in the east, and North Karanpura Valley (after an infamous opencast coal project that threaten to destroy the entire valley through opencast coal mining). The important Khovar villages in the eastern-central part of the valley are Punkri-Barwadi, Bhadul-Pipradih, Kharati, Nayatand, Napo, Barhmaniya. Most of the villages are predominantly the Prajapati caste which is an agricultural community, but also an artisan castes such as Kumhar or potter, Rana or carpenter, Teli or oil extractors, Turi or basketmakers and bamboo workers, and the internent wandering groups such as the Malhar metal-casters (akin to the Gadaba of Chhatisgarh) the semi-nomadic Birhor (both Uthlu, settled; Bhuiya nomadic who live entirely by trapping and food-gathering; ethnobotany practices etc.)

Kharati and Napo villages may be said to be the epi-center of Khovar painting of the Prajapatis in the eastern valley on the way to Isco rockart from Barkagaon, a Block headquarters town from a village. The Prajapati Khovar comb cutting reaches its height in Bhaduli-Pipradih, Nayatand, and Kharati-Napo where every house both inside and outside is an artistic delight. The subjects are exclusively plant forms and also a lot of aquatic creatures, fish, lotus, crocodile, tortoise, beetles, etc.

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