Centuries old, this art is done mainly by the females of the family, and is a part of the daily ritual. It is believed that every morning the gods come invisibly to the household to bless the members of the family and to bring more prosperity. So this art started as a daily welcome painting for the Gods by decorating the outside of the house, the walls or the floor.
The walls and floors of the house were coated with cow dung and mud paste. When it dried it gave a perfect dark background to the bright paintings done with white rice paste. The diluted cow dung is also a natural antiseptic which is why it is valued as a floor and wall covering anyway - regardless of whether any one was going to paint on it!
There are three types of Madhubani painting.
I have painted one in each style using Indian ink with the help of a nib pen.[scroll up to see my paintings. Brahmin style - Krishna; Tatoo style - design in concentric circles; Kshtriya style - three Suns].