Song (Pater Gaan) of Medinipur

What makes Bengal Patachitra different from other forms of traditional paintings is the song (Pater Gaan) associated with it. The songs are composed by the Patuas themselves before the painting begins. The songs follow traditional or modern tunes with old or new words. The song sets the story for the scroll, and brings it to life. The songs have specific stages: a) The Kahini or Story, b) The Mahatmya or Glory, c) The Bhanita or Self-introduction. Initially, songs of Patachitra were influenced by Baul, Kirtan, Jhumur, Jatra songs and other such music. Now mostly old tunes of Pater Gaan are used in the songs. Nearly 60 Pater Gaan has been documented.