The tree of Mahua is ubiquitous in Chhattisgarh. In the month of February the air is suffused with the sweet , rancid scent of Mahua flowers which fall everywhere. Women and children collecting mahua flowers at dusk form a familiar sight all over this region during this month. The flowers are laid out to dry on rooftops and courtyards, in empty patches in fields and by the banks of rivers. The preoccupation with the Mahua tree forms the substratum of life in Chhattisgarh.
The stash of Mahua flowers collected from the months of February to May forms the basis for subsistence at several levels in this region. It is used as food, liquor, and as the basis of barter and monetary exchange. It is also an intermediary with the world of spirits and dev in Bastar who hold sway over the region's landscape.
This module explores the life of the Mahua tree and its predominance in the cultural landscape of Chhattisgarh.
This content has been created as part of a project commissioned by the Directorate of Culture and Archaeology, Government of Chhattisgarh, to document the Cultural and Natural heritage of the state of Chhattisgarh.