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Sohrai Art

In the tribal villages of Hazaribagh and its adjoining districts in the Indian state of Jharkhand, mud homes of adivasis, are adorned with bold, figurative murals. There are two major art forms — Sohrai and Khovar, based on the harvest and marriage seasons. A dozen major Mesolithic rock-art sites in this area suggest a lengthy continuity of mural art there. These paintings are considered to bring good luck.

Sohrai art form is ritualistic art done on mud walls to welcome the new harvest and also to celebrate the cattle. This art form is monochromatic as well extremely colourful.

These colourful paintings are done totally by using natural pigments mixed in mud — Kali matti, Charak matti, Dudhi matti, Lal matti (Geru), and Pila matti. Artists use datoon (teeth cleaning twig) or cloth swabs daubed in different earth colours to paint on the walls — bulls, horses with riders, wild animals, trees, lotuses, peacocks, and horned deities. Sohrai paintings are considered to be good luck paintings.

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