Saura Paintings

The first time I saw this tribal painting from Orissa, I thought it was a variant of the better known Warli Painting! But very soon I realised that the two are entirely different craft forms.

For an amateur eye like mine, the easiest way to differentiate is that Warli is mostly done with white colour while Saura is done with black colour on tussar silk and the figures are in a more organised form unlike the former.

Saura paintings originated among the Saura tribals of Orissa. The paintings usually depict the daily activities in the life of the Sauras. It consists of motifs of people, trees, animals and geometrical shapes drawn on fine Tussar silk. They also paint these on the walls of their houses to herald good luck.

The Saura paintings are also closely related to the religious beliefs of the Saura tribe. They are sometimes drawn to appease the demigods and spirits. In some of the paintings, one sees a spiral formation, which illustrates a typical sequence in the Sambalpuri dance.

Sambalpuri Dance           Sambalpuri Dance
Image Courtesy: Orissa Tourism