Saura Art- a unique art form

Saura art is a unique folk art form emerged from the tribal culture of the Sauras or Sabaras of India. Sauras are the ancient most tribal sects in Indian subcontinent. Instances of their bravery and simplicity have also been mentioned in epics like Mahabharata and Ramayana. Presently they are found in the hills of Rayagada, Gajapati and Koraput districts of Odisha. The Sabara tribes live secluded, surrounded with dense forests and hills away from the chaos of cities. So their way of living is found to be pure and unadulterated. They are simple and peace loving, who primarily depend on agriculture and hunting for their livelihood. That simplicity is found in their unique art form. The art form seemingly establishes and conveys the gross bondage between man and the nature.

Sauras mainly do paintings on the mud walls of their houses using natural colours and bamboo brushes to celebrate events like marriage, child birth and good harvest. They also paint their walls to appease the souls of their forefathers who would protect their harvest and keep them safe and sound as per their popular belief.

The Saura art is based on geometrical patterns. Geometrical shapes like triangle and circle are very often used in wave like structures. The characters are intertwined with a net like approach. Each shape and figure reveals some meaning associated with their social, cultural and religious belief. Saura paintings display the glory of nature through themes like trees, animals and tribal people. There is a beautiful concept upon which most of the paintings theme around and is known as ‘The Tree of Life’, whose branches are home to the animals of the forest and human beings are often depicted in various avatars of tribal life like small clay huts, trees, women with pots and kids, men rearing cattle or hunting.

An artist requires excellent skills to make Saura paintings as these are fairly elaborate and lengthy. This beautiful art form is no more confined to the Sauras. Recently the Saura art has gained considerable interest among the art lovers all around the world. Artists in cities and towns are learning and practicing this painting form as a lucrative career. Traditional colours used in Saura art has been replaced by acrylic colour. The medium also has ranged from wall to paper and cloth. The richness, variety, antiquity and the ritual base of this ancient tribal art form is gaining momentum and has been manifesting in its novel glorious form all around the world.

Photo Source- The Hindu  



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