Sohrai and Khovar painting is a mural art traditionally practiced by women in the Hazaribagh district of Jharkhand. Traditionally used to decorate the hut walls, it is also done on paper and cloth so that it may be sold to patrons.
Sohrai art is done at Sohrai, or harvest festivals. It is done in colour. Khovar painting is done at weddings, in black and white.
The art form was popularized by Bulu Imam, who established the Sanskriti Museum & Art Gallery. In 2018, the Jharkhand Government announced plans to adorn trains and Government housing with Sohrai paintings. They received the Geographical Indication tag in 2020.
The walls are first coated with a mixture of soil and dung, and then painted.
Sparrows, peacocks, squirrels and cows inhabit the world of Sohrai and Khovar paintings. Popular in Hazaribagh region of Jharkhand, the folk art draws heavily from the forest life.
The clean lines reflect a naivety that come alive on canvasses. Though all the paintings appear similar, on close observation one can see the distinct beauty of each.
It is an art form practised by women at home, usually the mother-in-law and daughter-in-law combine. Read more on ‘The Hindu’
GI tag for Jharkhand’s Sohrai Khovar painting : An Article by Sangeetha Kandavel in ‘The Hindu’
Sohrai Khovar painting is a ritualistic mural art.
Jharkhand’s Sohrai Khovar painting was given the Geographical Indication (GI) tag by the Geographical Indications Registry headquartered in Chennai. The application for the painting was made by Sohrai Kala Mahila Vikas Sahyog Samiti Limited.
“The Sohrai Khovar painting is a traditional and ritualistic mural art being practised by local tribal women during local harvest and marriage seasons using local, naturally available soils of different colours in the area of Hazaribagh district of Jharkhand.
The Sohrai Khovar painting is primarily being practised only in the district of Hazaribagh. However, in recent years, for promotional purposes, it has been seen in other parts of Jharkhand.
Traditionally painted on the walls of mud houses, they are now seen on other surfaces, too. The style features a profusion of lines, dots, animal figures and plants, often representing religious iconography.
In recent years, the walls of important public places in Jharkhand, such as the Birsa Munda Airport in Ranchi, and the Hazaribagh and Tatanagar Railway Stations, among others, have been decorated with Sohrai-Khovar paintings.