The A to Z would be incomplete if mention of Pahari miniature paintings is not made here. Dr. V.C. Ohri claims in his book 'On the Origins of Pahari Painting' that some idioms of the sixteenth century paintings of
The wall paintings of Narbadeshwar (Hamirpur); Radha Krishna temple at Dada Siba (Kangra); in temples of Chamba and Nahan ha been drawn with vitality and zest by the artists.
The colourful thangkas are another art form of Himachal. These first appeared in
The folk dances of Himachal Pradesh begin with the sound of single-note, wind instrument called 'Narsingh' and the beats of percussionist on 'Nagara'. Both these instruments are pious and are the properly of the temple of the village deity. It is with the permission of the priest that these are brought out from the temple. Karnal or Karl, an elongated trumpet, drums, shehnai, bansuri are other instruments used in the dances. The dances are known by the generic name of 'Nati'. The folk dances are:
- Dances which belong to particular festivities, festivals or collective participative activity!
- Devotional dancing done to propitiate the village deity or in praise of nature!
- Dances which revolve round the agriculture activities!
- Dances of rituals, marriage ceremony, birthday or mundan ceremony!
- Hunt dances or warrior dances depicting valour or animal imitation dances!
The folk songs are rich in content and pick up the local idiom deftly to express the flight of imagination. 'Madna', Kamna', 'Hukku', 'Haar' etc. are the battle songs/Gangi', 'Jhango', 'Jhuri', 'Laman' etc. are the love songs. 'Jhamakara', 'Bhadooa', 'Nawala' etc. are ceremony songs. Songs of any country or province are not complete if there were no love-tales. Himachal has these in Kunju-Chanchalo' or 'Sunni-Bhunku'. 'Mohna' is a pathetic song emanating from the valley of Bilaspur.
The folk theatre of the State is very rich. 'Karyala', an improptu theature that attacks the ills of society, heads the three most popular styles. Traditionally played by men only. 'Banthra' is its parallel in Mandi District. 'Bhagat' has religious overtones. Performed in real Folkish dialect, it carries the message of the story of God and his devotee.
Among the crafts, the woodwork takes the front seat. Not only temples but living abodes also are decorated with exquisite carvings on wood. The relief work on wood in temples at Chatrari, Bharmour,
Silver Jewellery of Himachal Pradesh is worth a watch. The traditional silver worn by women of Khabal of Rohru sub-division in Shimla District is unmatched. Kinnaur comes next. This jewellery, now, is worn by the female folk dancers only, sometimes by the girls when there is festivity in the home. The goldsmiths of Kangra are known for the special Kangra designs that they give to gold ornaments.