Orissa has a history of folk theatre also known as Jatra in local parlance. The characters of these Jatras are made of paper Mache and vividly painted. They are dressed according to the characters played by them and are controlled by strings.
Based on the characterizations, masks are used by the artists. An elaborate procedure is followed to make papers for these items.
Paper, waste cloth and different kinds of natural fibers are soaked and beaten into pulp. They are then mixed with a variety of seeds and gums for strength and as protection from termites.
Special clays and bio-wastes are added for body and reinforcement. The entire process results in a medium so malleable that it requires skill to be molded into countless forms.