"From its ritualistic beginnings on the walls of rural dwellings, Saura tribal painting has grown into one of India's most magnificent art forms"
Saura art is a unique form of art that is known for its use of vibrant colors and geometric designs. These elements are combined to create beautiful and intricate pieces that are sure to make a statement.
With its eye-catching imagery and symbolic importance, Saura art is not only beautiful to look at; it is also fascinating as the tribe expresses its own tale in an honest and distinct manner. It is one of India's most amazing tribal art traditions.
Let’s dive in and see what is Saura Art, where it’s from, and how it came into being.
Saura: Tribal expression of beliefs.
Saura art finds its origin back in Odisha famous for its tribal groups and the varying art forms it gave birth to. This cousin of Warli Tribal Art didn’t catch much attention from people earlier but now its popularity is on the rise.
Saura art is a wall mural painting (it is directly drawn on the wall). It used to be a form of expression for the tribal people’s thoughts, values, and beliefs.
These paintings also known as Ikons (or ekons) having a strong sense of storytelling in them. Each symbol of this art conveys a part of the story and has sacred importance for the Sauras.
The Saura Tribal art uses minimalistic shapes and lines to create paintings with deeper meanings.
The makers of Saura are an ancient Indian tribe who live in southern Odisha. The Saura tribe also captures its presence in the Ramayana and the Mahabharata and is noted for its distinct tribal culture and art.
Every Element of Saura Painting Tells a Story.
The Saura paintings appear to show the basic life of the Saura tribe in ancient times. Most of the art has people doing their work, horses, well and other everyday things.
But, as simple and random as it looks, it comes out to be more structured and meaningful. Each element depicts a story and a deeper meaning to it.
Saura paintings were made by the Saura tribe to satisfy their ruling deity, Edital, who was worshipped during all their rituals and feasts.
Saura is made by using varying symbols taken from their daily lives, cults, and mythology, each bearing a religious purpose for their worship.
However, with a rise in the development and connection of these tribes with others, their icons are losing relevance and their practice is gradually slipping away in recent times.
The Making of the Saura Art and Its Characters.
These paintings were traditionally painted on walls of the tribal people's home and were generally made during special occasions like harvest, childbirth, marriage, etc., to praise the deity of Saura.
The mud surface of the home is cleaned, and then it is covered in cow dung and Geru. Then, using a white paste, the figures are painted on it. This white paste, which serves as an important catalyst, is made of rice, water, and gum.
Bamboo sticks serve as a paintbrush. The artwork can be created on earthen pots, mud walls, cloth, or paper using a paste made from ground tamarind seeds and charcoal.
Some common characteristics of Saura Art include:
The human and animal bodies are represented by two triangles that touch at their tips.
Men differentiate female figures from their head buns.
Simple geometric forms are used to represent images of life and the environment.
- Circles represent the sun and moon.
- Triangle represents the mountains and pointed trees.
- Square represents the sacred enclosure or a piece of land.
Saura artists also use characteristic decorative borders on their canvases, with rows of human beings and animals packed together in a frame.
Another defining element of Saura art is the 'fishnet' approach used to construct all of the artworks.
Every Saura piece begins with a carefully designed frame, and the patterns gradually close in on the center to form intricate compositions.
What makes the Saura art so unique?
It is unique in its use of vibrant colors and geometric designs, which together create beautiful pieces that are sure to have a story behind them. The art is often inspired by nature, which gives it a unique and refreshing perspective.
If you are looking for artwork that will stand out and be appreciated, then Saura art would be the perfect option for you.
The colors used in Saura's art are often very bright and eye-catching, which makes the art very appealing to look at and evokes a sense of joy and tranquility.
The Religious Belief Behind the Saura Symbols.
Many of the figures in Saura's artworks called Ikons are motifs (recurring patterns) and symbols such as people, the tree of life, the sun and moon, horses, and elephants, each with their own symbolism.
Historically, only priests were permitted to paint these murals on walls. They would also explain their meanings to the locals, passing along their tribal norms and culture.
Even to date, these paintings are well-known for their elegance, charm, iconography, aesthetic, and ritualistic connections.
The Evolution of Saura Art with Changing Times
Nowadays, Saura art is insanely popular among design collectors. You can find beautiful handbags, sarees, and Notebook Covers decorated with Saura art.
Even, in recent years, you will notice a mix of the art of Saura and Warli which looks like a trendy art style now. Many DIY experts use Saura art with many different combinations and colors.
Earlier, Saura paintings were made by using natural dyes and chromes taken from a variety of sources. But, In today’s world, we can make thousands of color shades and make saura art with a more vibrant look.
It has also gained decorative appeal in recent years, with many people purchasing Saura art for their homes which is the result of Saura's variety, detail, and one-of-a-kind flare.
Today it is not only an art form, but also a source of income for many people, and it is increasingly being used to beautify goods such as T-shirts, greeting cards, stationery, and apparel.
Excited to make your first Saura painting?
Creating your first Saura painting can be confusing for many people, you might not understand how to start. Having a story in mind would surely help.
It's all about structuring the symbols and patterns in a way that conveys a story you want to express.
Don’t forget the materials!
Wanna take a detailed kickstart to it?
Download the BitClass App, and get a FREE live class on Saura Art.