The Ramayana: Bengali Scrolls of the Ramayana

One of the regional folk traditions by which the Ramayana is told are scrolls from Bengal. These scrolls of epics and popular stories are slowly adapting to new themes and images, but the examples here are episodes of the Ramayana.

Sita's Capture

This scroll, collected in Calcutta in 1980, is an unusual depiction with a red background of Sita’s abduction by Ravana. From the H. Daniel Smith Collection of Indian Art, Acc. No. 1994:158 University Art Collection.

 

Ram, Lakshman and Sita in the forest
Ram, Lakshman and Sita in the forest.

Lakshmana cuts off Shurpanakha's nose
Lakshmana cuts off Shurpanakha's nose while Ram and Sita sit inside the hut.

Shurpanakha pleads with Ravana to take revenge
Her nose bleeding, Shurpanakha pleads with Ravana to take revenge.


Ravana's uncle takes the form of a beautiful deer.

Ram hunts the deer
Ram hunts the deer.

Sita begs Lakshman to seek out Ram
Sita begs Lakshman to seek out Ram.

Ravana entices Sita to step out of her hut and captures her
Dressed as a Sadhu, the ten-headed Ravana entices Sita to step out of her hut and captures her.

Jatayu attempts to capture the palinquin holding Ravana and Sita
The vulture Jatayu attempts to capture the palinquin holding Ravana and Sita, but is unsuccessful.

 

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