Deers in Sohrai by Manikchand Mahto

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Size : Medium
Dimensions : H: 22 | W: 30 Inch
Medium : Natural Colors on Paper

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About the Artwork +

In Manikchand Mahto's traditional Sohrai painting, we are transported to the heart of daily life in rural India, where the presence of deers among trees is a common sight. The painting reflects the intimate connection between humans and nature, showcasing how daily life in rural communities revolves around the natural world. Mahto's depiction of deers among trees captures the tranquility and serenity of rural landscapes, where animals roam freely and coexist harmoniously with their surroundings. The meticulous details in the painting, such as the intricate patterns on the deers' fur and the lush foliage of the trees, demonstrate Mahto's skillful craftsmanship and his ability to capture the beauty of rural life with simplicity and grace.

The process of creating a Sohrai painting involves using natural pigments derived from minerals, plants, and other organic materials. Manikchand Mahto employs traditional techniques passed down through generations, using simple tools like brushes made from natural fibers to create intricate designs on the canvas. Each brushstroke is deliberate, reflecting Mahto's deep connection to his cultural heritage and the natural world.

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    All artworks on the website are hand painted from scratch by our master artists. That makes every artwork absolutely unique and the actual colour and overall artwork may vary slightly from the artwork image posted here.

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    Manikchand Mahto, a 32-year-old artist specializing in Sohrai and Khovar art forms, hails from Hazaribagh, Jharkhand, where he has been practicing his craft for the past 8 to 10 years, drawing inspiration from his mother and carrying on the tradition within his entire family. With his schooling completed in Jharkhand, Manikchand has expanded his artistic horizons through various workshops and programs across the country, imparting his knowledge to college students in places like NIT Patna, Chapra, and Shivan, and participating in events such as Lalit Kala Academy programs in cities like Bhubaneswar, Ranchi, Kolkata, and Delhi.

    Manikchand's artworks, displayed prominently even in prestigious locations like Sansad Bhawan in Delhi, are a testament to his dedication to capturing the essence of nature and traditional motifs on handmade canvases. Inspired by the sights and sounds of his surroundings, he finds beauty in the rocks and flora, translating them into mesmerizing paintings featuring elements like tigers, Pashupatinath, flowers, and peacocks. Despite facing challenges like language barriers and limited market demand, Manikchand remains hopeful for opportunities to showcase his art internationally, believing that his unique perspective on nature-inspired art can resonate with audiences far beyond his homeland.


    Sohrai craft is an ancient and intricate art form originating from the tribal regions of Jharkhand and Bihar in India. This traditional craft is deeply rooted in the cultural heritage of the indigenous communities, reflecting their close connection to nature and their vibrant folklore. This craft is closely associated with the Sohrai festival, a harvest festival celebrated with great fervor in the region. During this festival, villagers adorn their homes with vibrant Sohrai paintings, depicting scenes from nature, folklore, and everyday life. Legend and Mythology Legend has it that Sohrai art originated as a form of worship for the gods and goddesses of nature. According to local folklore, the intricate motifs and symbols used in Sohrai paintings are believed to invoke blessings for a bountiful harvest and prosperity. Based on Santhali legend, in ancient times, Jaher ayo (goddess of the forest) and Marang Buru (god of the mountains) along with the Santhal’s elder sister would climb down to earth to meet their brothers. Precisely during this time harvest festival would be celebrated and their homes would be decorated with Sohrai art. Technique and Materials Sohrai paintings are characterized by their designs, bold colors, and geometric patterns. Craftsmen use natural resources like clay mixed with various colors of mud such as Kali Mitti, Laal Mitti, and Pili Mitti to come up with various colors like brown, red, and yellow. The women coat the walls of their homes with a layer of white mud, and while the white layer is still wet, they draw with their fingertips or with broken pieces of combs or with chewed saal wood tooth-sticks (datwan). The designs are also painted using cloth swabs daubed in different earth colors. Mostly, Sohrai artists are spontaneous in their drawings. Themes and Details Sohrai art often depicts scenes from rural life, wildlife, and mythology. Common motifs include animals such as elephants, peacocks, and snakes, as well as symbols of fertility such as trees, flowers, and birds. The paintings are characterized by their rhythmic patterns, with geometric shapes intertwining to form mesmerizing compositions. Each element in a Sohrai painting is imbued with symbolism, reflecting the cultural beliefs and spiritual worldviews of the indigenous communities. In Sohrai art, the red line is drawn first as it represents the ‘blood of the ancestors’, procreation, and fertility. The next line is black which signifies eternal dead stone and a mark of the God, Shiva. The next all-encompassing outer lines stand in their traditional values of protection, fidelity, and chastity. The white is painted with the last year’s rice, ground with milk into gruel, this represents food.

    Product Details

    Deers in Sohrai by Manikchand Mahto
    Manikchand Mahto
    Art Style
    Natural Colors
    22 in(H) X 30 in(W)
    Country of Origin
    Jharkhand, India

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