Special Wall Art of Santali People
Here I would like to give all of my esteemed readers an opportunity to have a glimpse on the traditional wall art of Santal tribal people of Odisha. The majority of Santal people are amassed in Mayurbhanj and abutting Keonjhar area of Odisha . Santal is the largest tribal community found in the entire India( dispersed in several different states).The Santal hovel is known as ‘Olah’ .Their house is normally based on a rectangular or ‘ L’shaped ground plan and covered with straw or terracotta tiles.That is extremely alluring with marvelous colorful arts and drawings on outer walls ( usually done two to three times in a year). In the past, geometric designs with floral motifs were being drawn and painted on their outer walls, but now with changing time, new motifs with realistic imageries are being incorporated. Often small pieces of glass are pasted on those floral motifs to make it look more beautiful. Enough care is also taken to make the surface smoother for drawings on outer walls.
Let me introduce a village of Mayurbhanj called ‘ Babojoda’ that has a special charm because of its colourful Santali wall art ( photo attached) . Almost all its inhabitants belong to the Santal community. This village comes on the way from Bishoi to Jashipur. It is just after 10 km on the national highway from Bishoi towards Jashipur, this village falls to the right, located around 5kms from the national highway.The inhabitants of this village are devotees of God Shiva. 3/4 years ago the villagers also set up a Shiva Mandir in the village and celebrate Shivaratri with great devotion and determination.Two days after Shivratri, the ‘Pata nach’ competition is held every year . Many dancers from surrounding areas participate in this competition with great enthusiasm.
However, the biggest highlight is that the residents of this village paint the walls of their houses traditionally according to the Santali culture and the preparations start almost a month in advance. Santali women in particular have played a key role in this. Earlier, they used to paint very much straight designs, but now they are painting the walls in a new style as their painting skills have increased. When being asked, the women said that throughout the year they think about what kind of picture to paint, and when Shivratri arrives, they give shape to their thoughts . A jury is formed to judge the best painted wall and awards are given on stage. Looking at the walls of the houses is a sheer pleasure.
I really believe …there are several aspects of tribal life of Odisha that may remain unnoticed, unheard if I don’t write about them.
If you so like , you can go through the following article to have a thorough understanding about the traditional tribal houses of Odisha, India. https://lunarsecstacy.com/2021/05/14/few-traditional-tribal-houses-of-odisha/
Dr. Manoj Mishra, email@example.com