Author Biography

These images were painted by a Maithil woman in Janakpur, Nepal. Maithil women have become known internationally for their colorful paintings replete with scenes from great epics and deities of the region, as well as depictions of the plants and animals that are integral to their lives. This painting tradition has evolved into a form of tourist art used for income generation in local women’s development organizations. In Madhubani, on the Indian side of the border, the painting tradition has evolved into a more refined style featuring recognized ‘artists’ and distributed in ‘fine art’ as opposed to ‘tourist art’ venues. The author [Davis, this volume] commissioned a series of paintings from two women’s development projects in Janakpur, the Janakpur Women’s Development Center and the Women’s Development Service Center. The paintings illustrate the tales Davis recorded in 2003–2004 as part of her study of Maithil women’s storytelling, resulting in the forthcoming volume, Maithil Women’s Tales: Storytelling on the Nepal-India Border(University of Illinois Press, 2014).

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