Palm Leaf etching
Narayan Das a dimunitive, quiet figure who is a master at effortlessly wielding an iron stylus on palm leaves to create beautiful artworks that show intricate scenes and figures. Palm Leaf etching has a long history spanning centuries. The technique of etching on palm leaves has seen many versions, from recording information by farmers of seasonal crops, to documenting information that made the first ‘books’ and scribing horoscopes for royal babies.
Narayan Das learnt the art of etching on palm leaves from his grandfather and father. They were both astrologers, but his father introduced illustrations to complement the written word on horoscopes. They worked in other jobs during the day to earn an income, practicing their art in the evenings and during holidays. Over the last 4 decades, Narayan Das has worked to gradually developed it into an art form, and has been finding greater success as people recognise the incredible skill and beauty of this form of art.