What is Saura Art?

by Annie Saxena on Mar 18, 2023

What is Saura Art?

In India's state of Odisha, the Saura tribal people are known for their Saura painting style of wall mural artwork. The Sauras have religious importance for these paintings, also known as ikons (or ekons), which resemble Warli paintings in appearance. The Sauras' daily tasks are reflected in the iconography, which frequently uses pregnant with symbolism images. Recurring themes in these icons include people, horses, elephants, the sun, the moon, and the tree of life. The adobe cottages of the Saura were once decorated with icons. The red or yellow ochre dirt used as the background of the paintings is then painted over with brushes made from sensitive bamboo stalks.

Warli art and Saura paintings share a striking aesthetic similarity and both use simple geometric frames in their creation, but they differ in terms of both style and subject matter. Painting from the border inwards, or the fish-net method, is utilized in Saura paintings, but not in Warli paintings. Although these are examples of stick figures used in tribal pictographs, the human body is depicted in Warli paintings using conjoint triangles rather than Saura paintings, where the figures are less well defined.

What is Saura Art?

The Indian state of Odisha is the place where the Saura art form first emerged. One of Odisha's major tribal groups, the Saura, are known for their vibrant colors, geometric patterns, and representations of animals, plants, and humans in their artwork.

The Saura people traditionally use natural colors made from regional materials like charcoal, cow dung, and clay to paint on mud walls, floors, and wooden doors. Geometric forms like triangles, squares, and circles are used to construct the designs, which frequently have elaborate patterns and symbols.

Many of the designs in saura art are inspired by old tales and mythology, and it is strongly linked to the community's spiritual activities and cultural customs. With several motifs incorporating plants, animals, and farming implements, the art form is also strongly linked to the community's agricultural operations.

Saura artwork is now appreciated outside of the tribal society and employed in a wide range of contemporary endeavors, including textiles, interior design, and clothing. Yet, the Saura people still engage in their traditional art form and produce artwork to preserve their cultural legacy.

Who Created Saura Art?

Saura art is a traditional tribal art style that was developed in the Indian state of Odisha. It is challenging to pinpoint the precise beginning of the art form or to place it in the hands of a single individual artist or group. One of the major tribal groups in Odisha, the Saura people, have been using this art form as a means of expressing their spirituality and cultural heritage for many years.

Oral traditions have been used to pass down the art form, which has changed through time as successive generations of Saura artists have interpreted the designs in their own distinctive ways. It is therefore more reasonable to see Saura art as a community and cultural art form rather than the creation of a single individual.

What is the Significance of Saura Art?

Saura art is a notable form of art because it captures the history, culture, and spirituality of the Saura people of Odisha, India. The following are some of the main meanings of Saura art:

Cultural legacy: The cultural legacy and identity of the Saura community are strongly influenced by Saura art. It is a visual portrayal of the history, values, and customs of the community that has been handed down through the generations.

Spiritual tenets: The Saura people have many designs in their art that are based on old tales and traditions that represent their spiritual tenets. The form of art is frequently utilized in religious rituals and celebrations as a way to commune with the divine.

Agriculture: The Saura people practice agriculture, and this is reflected in their art, which frequently includes depictions of vegetation, animals, and farming implements. The artistic expression acts as a reminder of the locals' ties to the environment and reliance on agriculture.

Saura art is renowned for its vibrant hues, elaborate patterns, and geometric shapes. Outside of the Saura group, the work has come to be recognized as a distinctive and lovely form of tribal art because it is aesthetically charming.

Economic significance: With numerous artists selling their work to visitors and collectors, Saura art has also developed into a source of revenue for the Saura community. The creative industry has contributed to the creation of employment possibilities and community support.

Overall, Saura art is an important form of expression that captures the past, present, and spiritual beliefs of the Saura people of Odisha, India. It represents their culture and heritage in visual form and has become well-known beyond the tribe as a stunning and distinctive form of tribal art.

How to Create Saura Art?

To make Saura art, take the following actions:

Choose a canvas You can use any preferred surface, including canvas and paper. Mud walls, floors, and wooden doors are all used as the canvas for traditional Saura art. Yet for those just starting out, paper or canvas are ideal places to start.

Create a rough draught of your idea on the canvas using a pencil. Geometric shapes like triangles, squares, and circles are frequently used in saura art, which also sometimes includes complicated patterns and symbols. Also, you can incorporate flora, animals, and human figures into your design.

Sketch out your design: Outline your artwork with a pen or fine-tipped marker. You can use whatever hue you like, including black. Your Saura art will have the characteristic appearance that defines the art form if the outline is bold and thick.

Fill in your design: After you've sketched out your design, fill it in with various colors. You can use acrylic paint or other types of paint, or you can use natural colors derived from regional resources like clay, charcoal, and cow dung.

Finishing touches: After you've completed filling in your design, add finishing touches like shading, highlighting, or other information. Your Saura artwork will gain depth and dimension as a result.

When you are satisfied with your Saura art, you can either put it on display in your house or give it as a present to someone special.

Keep in mind that there are no rigid guidelines to follow because Saura art is a traditional art form. You can experiment with various patterns and color schemes to produce a one-of-a-kind work of art that captures your individual sense of style.

What are the Different Types of Saura Art?

Saura art comes in a variety of forms, each with its own distinctive traits and patterns. Here are a few of the most prevalent types:

Ikat Saura: This style of Saura artwork incorporates images taken from conventional ikat weaving patterns. The colors are strong and vibrant, and the designs are frequently geometric and symmetrical.

Nua Gobura Saura: The elaborate geometric patterns and designs that distinguish this style of Saura art. The themes frequently draw their inspiration from nature and feature flora, fauna, and celestial bodies.

Gobar Saura: This style of Saura art uses cow dung to create its designs. The colors are earthy and natural, and the designs are frequently straightforward and geometric.

Wall Saura: This kind of Saura artwork is made right on the walls of houses and other structures. The patterns can feature a broad variety of motifs, including flora, animals, and human figures. They are frequently huge and detailed.

Saura art known as pata is produced on palm leaves. The patterns can feature a broad variety of motifs, including animals, birds, and geometric shapes. They are frequently small and detailed.

Every form of Saura art is distinctive and reflects the artistic traditions and cultural legacy of the Saura group in Odisha, India.

What are the Characteristics of Saura Art?

The following characteristics define the distinctive style of art known as "saura art":

Geometric patterns: The elaborate geometric patterns and designs found in Saura art are well-known. These patterns frequently employ a variety of symmetrical and well-organized forms, including triangles, squares, circles, and others.

Vivid hues: The primary hues used in Saura art are often red, blue, yellow, and green. These hues are frequently created using organic pigments sourced from nearby resources.

Nature-inspired themes: Many Saura art pieces get their inspiration from the natural world, including plants, animals, and celestial bodies. The Saura people have a strong bond with their natural surroundings, which is reflected in these themes, which are frequently stylized and abstract.

Saura art is renowned for its thick, powerful outlines that give the works a distinctive appearance. A fine-tipped pen or marker is frequently used to draw the outlines.

Symbolic components: The Saura people place a lot of cultural and spiritual significance on these components in their art. The sun is symbolized by the circular "chakra" pattern, which also stands for the life-and-death cycle.

Techniques that have been handed down through the centuries: Saura art is made utilizing techniques that have been passed down through the generations. In addition to painting on walls and other surfaces, these methods frequently entail the use of organic materials like clay, charcoal, and cow dung.

The Saura community in Odisha, India, has a rich cultural history and artistic traditions, which are reflected in the brilliant and colorful Saura art.

What is the Difference Between Warli and Saura Art?

The tribal arts known as warli and saura are two different types, each with its own distinctive qualities and cultural significance. A few of the most significant variations between Warli and Saura art are as follows:

Geographic origin: Saura art and Warli art were both developed in the Saura area of Odisha and Maharashtra, respectively.

Stick figures, geometric patterns, and animals are just a few of the motifs used in Warli art, which is often simple and minimalistic in style. The most detailed designs of saura art, on the other hand, frequently incorporate nature-inspired motifs like trees, animals, and celestial bodies.

Materials: Rice flour and water are typically used to create Warli art, but natural pigments derived from regional resources like cow dung, charcoal, and clay are frequently used to create Saura art.

Techniques: Warli art is made using a special method that involves painting with white pigment on a red or brown background, but Saura art is frequently made using conventional methods such wall painting, palm leaf etching, and cloth painting.

Cultural significance: For their separate tribal cultures, Warli and Saura art are deeply significant. Saura art is strongly based in the spiritual beliefs and cultural traditions of the Saura community, whereas Warli art frequently depicts the daily lives and rituals of the Warli people.

While Warli and Saura art are independent art forms with their own special styles, themes, and cultural significance, they do have some similarities, such as their tribal roots and use of traditional techniques.

Which Colors can be Used in Saura Art?

The use of vivid, bright colors is a hallmark of Saura art. Traditional Saura art uses a variety of hues, such as:

In Saura art, the color red is a recurring theme and is frequently seen as a representation of vitality and force.

In Saura art, the sun, a representation of life and vitality, is frequently painted with the color yellow, which is connected with prosperity.

Blue: The Saura people's natural surroundings include significant components like the sky and water, which are represented by this color.

In Saura art, trees and other plants are frequently shown using the color green.

White: Associated with purity, this hue is frequently utilized in Saura art to contrast with darker backgrounds.

It's crucial to remember that Saura art is a traditional form of expression, and the colors used can differ based on the region and community where the artwork is being produced. Moreover, Saura art frequently employs natural pigments made from regional resources, which can produce a distinctive and varied color palette.


The stunning state of Odisha, located in the country's east, is where Saura art first appeared. This area is home to several tribal communities. One of them, the Sauras, is renowned for its exquisitely detailed artwork. Tribal customs are generally similar, and variations are mainly due to regional peculiarities. All tribes typically rely on nature for their daily activities, including work around the house, a means of subsistence, and amusement. Although people worship it in many different ways, they also live their lives in its orbit.

The same is true for Sauras, who inhabit a region that is hilly and heavily forested. These works of art, which are titled after the community, depict their way of life. These artistic techniques are transmitted from one generation to the next.