Window Seat: Saura and Sohrai Painting

Prameyanews English

Published By : Prameya News Bureau | January 14, 2024 IST

Saura painting, Odisha, Sohrai painting, Jharkhand, GI Tag

Mrinal Chatterjee

Saura painting of Odisha and Sohrai painting of Jharkhand got GI Tag this year. This has drawn more attention to these traditional forms of painting.

Saura painting belongs to the 'Lanjia Saura' or 'Lanjia Savara/Sabara' tribe of Odisha's Rayagada district, originally in the form of exterior murals in tribal homes.

The Saura paintings are characterized by their vibrant colors, bold patterns, and unique themes. These paintings are predominantly executed on walls and floors of the Lanjia Saura homes, serving both aesthetic and ritualistic purposes.

The themes depicted in Lanjia Saura paintings often revolve around nature, mythology, and the tribe's daily life. Animals, birds, trees, and human figures are common motifs, and each element carries symbolic significance within the cultural context of the Lanjia Saura community. The use of bright colors and intricate patterns not only adds to the visual appeal but also conveys a sense of energy and vitality. The art serves as a form of visual storytelling, recounting the tribe's myths, legends, and ancestral tales.

The process of creating Saura paintings involves natural pigments and brushes made from locally available materials. The artists often employ geometric shapes and stylized forms, creating a unique visual language that sets Saura paintings apart from other tribal art forms in India. The art form is passed down through generations within the community, ensuring the preservation of their cultural identity.

Sohrai painting of Hazaribagh in Jharkhand also got GI tag this year. This art form has been practised for centuries by the tribes of Hazaribagh, Jharkhand, and its surrounding states. This is also an ancient painting style inspired by cave paintings discovered in Hazaribag region, which is an enclave of India’s rich tribal cultures. Santal, Munda, Oraon, Agaria, Birhor, Kurmi, Prajapati, Ghatwal and Ganju tribes have been living here for centuries.

The word ‘sohrai’ is derived from the Mundari term ‘soroi’, which means ‘to whip with a stick. Sohrai art is an integral part of sohrai festival, which celebrates fruitful harvest.

Like Saura painting, sohrai painting also uses natural pigments derived from clay, charcoal, cow dung and leaves. The artists use their fingers, twigs and brushes made from animal hair. The paintings are usually done on a white or off-white base, mixing cow dung with water and clay. The paintings are believed  to bring good luck and prosperity to the household.

In recent years, there has been a growing interest in tribal art among art enthusiasts, collectors, and researchers.

28 Years of Cartoonwatch and Communication Today

In 2024, two publications of two different genres stepped into the 28th year of continuous publication. One is Communication Today, a media research journal, published from Jaipur, Rajasthan by Prof. Sanjeev Bhanawat. The other is Cartoon Watch, a magazine on cartoons from Raipur, Chattisgarh by Triambak Sharma.

There are two and half similarities between these two publications. One: both the publications are products of passion and perseverance of an individual person. Two, both the publications have dedicated contributors. There is a strong personal bonding between the editor/publisher and those who write or draw or send contributions.

And the half reason is: I am involved with both the publications as a contributor and as a friend and well-wisher.

In a country where the mortality rate of publications is very high, the very survival of these publications for close to three decades is something to cherish.

I wish for both a long and enriching life.

Delhi ki Sardi

I had recently been to Delhi to attend the 55th convocation of Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC), a premier mass communication teaching and training institute which has 6 campuses including its HeadQuarters in Delhi. I work in its Eastern regional campus located at Dhenkanal in Odisha.

We hardly have a winter season in Dhenkanal. Winter in Dhenkanal is of a short duration. By the time you think of bringing out the heavy woolens- it is over. Accustomed to a ‘now here-now not’ low intensity winter- the winter of Delhi came as a shock.

As I stepped out of the temperature controlled airport, a gust of bone chilling wind numbed my senses. I scrambled into the waiting taxi, rubbing my hands. The next two days I was eagerly looking forward to my return flight.

Meanwhile I heard the song: Delhi ki Sardi. The first few lines go like:

Koi toh aaye joh garmi laaye;

Pyar tera Dilli ki sardi,

(I hope someone brings the warmth,

Your love is like Delhi's cold weather)

Gyan on Gadha

Ass and Donkey are not the same. There is a pedantic difference. An ass can be wild, a donkey is typically domesticated.

And there is a difference between a mule and a hinny. A hinny is the offspring of a male horse and a female donkey, known as Jenny. A mule is the offspring of a male and a female horse.

(Courtesy: Bibek Debroy in New Indian Express)

Gyan on Gadha2

‘Donkey Flight’ is illegal transportation of migrants via various stopovers. The agent who does this is called ‘Donker’.

(Courtesy: Gurbir Singh)

Disclaimer:

This is the personal opinion of the author. The views expressed in this write-up have nothing to do with www.prameyanews.com.

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