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Scroll painting

  • Place of origin:

    Santhal (Santhal Paganas, made)

  • Date:

    1900-1949 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Painted in watercolour on paper, with cloth support

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Mr. John C. Irwin, 1978.

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Physical description

Scroll painting, watercolour on paper, with a cloth support, in four panels. The panels show:
1. A twin-headed python is killed for the cooking-pot (this panel shows a strong Bengali influence),
2. Three male drummers and five Santal women dancing,
3. A python-hunt by a river, two women preparing food,
4. Three soldiers with rifles and a man clasping the tail of a crimson horse.

Place of Origin

Santhal (Santhal Paganas, made)


1900-1949 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Painted in watercolour on paper, with cloth support


Length: 164 cm total length, Width: 35 cm total width, equal to length of battons, Length: 161 cm excluding wooden battons at ends; painting, Width: 34 cm painting

Object history note

The scroll was originally collected by W.G. Archer. The Museum received the scroll as a gift from John C. Irwin in 1978.

Descriptive line

Scroll painting, pythons, soldiers and drummers, watercolour on paper with cloth support, Santhal, 20th century, collected 1940s

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Mildred Archer: Indian Popular Painting in the India Ofice Library
London: Her Majesty's Stationery Ofice 1977
ISBN 0 11 580184 7
Arts of Bengal : the heritage of Bangladesh and eastern India : an exhibition organized by the Whitechapel Art Gallery in collaboration with the Victoria and Albert Museum : 9 November-30 December 1979, Whitechapel Art Gallery ..., 12 January-17 February 1980, Manchester City Art Gallery ... . [London]: Whitechapel Art Gallery, [1979] Number: 085488047X (pbk.) :

Production Note

This Santal scroll painting comes under the folk scroll category described as 'Jadupata' (magic scroll). The scroll was painted by two 'Jadupatuas' (magical scroll painters) from Santal Parganas district, Bihar.


Watercolour; Paint; Paper; Cloth



Subjects depicted

Soldiers; Drummers; Dance; Hunting; Python


Paintings; Folk Art; Animals and Wildlife; Hunting; Bonita Trust Indian Paintings Cataloguing Project


South & South East Asia Collection

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