Festivals, Dances, Theatre, Literature, Art in News

Art-form in news: Santhali Sohrai Murals


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Sohrai Murals

Mains level : NA

Santhali communities of Odisha and Jharkhand are changing their ways of painting traditional Sohrai murals to modernity.

What is Sohrai?

  • Sohrai is a harvest festival of the Indian states of Bihar, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, and West Bengal.
  • It also called cattle festival. It is celebrated after harvest and coincide with festival of Diwali.

What are Sohrai Murals?

  • Sohrai Mural is an indigenous art form is practised by the women of Santhal Community.
  • Ritualistic art is done on mud walls to welcome the harvest and to celebrate the cattle.
  • The women clean their houses and decorate their walls with murals of Sohrai arts.
  • This art form has continued since 10,000-4,000 BC. It was prevalent mostly in caves, but shifted to houses with mud walls.

Features of this art

  • This Sohrai art form can be monochromatic or colorful.
  • The people coat the wall with a layer of white mud, and while the layer is still wet, they draw with their fingertips on it.
  • Their designs range from flowers and fruits to various other nature-inspired designs.
  • The cow dung that was earlier used to cake the walls of the house is used to add colour.
  • The dark outline is visible due to the previously applied contrasting white mud coat.
  • The artists are spontaneous in their drawing. The designs are usually drawn from the artist’s memory.
  • The personal experience of the artist and their interaction with nature are the biggest influence.


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