‘Saura Tribal Art’ of Odisha is an art form originated from a tribal culture of the ‘Sauras’ or ‘Savaras’ of India. Sauras are among the most ancient tribes in India and find mention in the Hindu epics of Mahabharata and Ramayana. Savari, Rama’s devotee in the Ramayana and Jara, the hunter who mortally wounded Krishna with an arrow, are thought to have been members of this tribe. Jara’s body is believed to have flowed into the sea near Puri as a wooden log and the idol Jagannath at Puri is believed to have been sculpted from it. Presently Saura Tribes are found in the hills of Rayagada, Gajapati and Koraput districts of Odisha.
Saura’s paint mud walls of their houses using natural colours and bamboo brushes to celebrate events like marriage, childbirth and good harvest. They also paint their walls to appease the souls of their forefathers who would protect their harvest and keep them safe as per their belief.
The Saura art is based on geometrical patterns and shapes. The characters are intertwined with a net-like approach. Each shape and figure holds some meaning in regard to their social, cultural and religious belief. Saura paintings also display trees, animals and human figures.
An artist requires true skills to paint Saura Tribal Art, for being fairly elaborate and lengthy. Saura Tribal Art is no more confined to the Sauras now, recently the Saura art has gained considerable respect among many art lovers. The abundance, diversity and the presence of Saura Tribal Art are evolving.
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