Saora folk painting is a type of mural painting native to tribal areas of Odisha. Their wall paintings are known as ‘italons’ or ‘ikons’. These ikons have variety of figures ranging from humans, horse, and elephant to aeroplane, cycle, sun, moon, etc. These paintings and figures are ritualistic in nature and have assoications with divinity and religion. These paintings are easy to make, but difficult to understand as all paintings convey a different message.
Usually these paintings are made in a rectangular or square format or in the shape of a hut enclosed with decorative borders of geometrical shapes. The paintings are usually done with a red background. The materials required for the paintings are also simple and made from locally available material like red is extracted from red clay, white is extracted from chalk or lime.
With the passage of time and commercialization, the medium for Saora painting also changed. They shifted their canvas of mud walls of their houses to wooden frames, paper and various other commercial mediums like textiles, crockery, etc.