Jadopatia: The magnificent art of the Santhal tribe

Updated: Jul 15

The Santhal tribes' Jadopatia paintings are vertical scroll paintings that were originally done on fabric but were subsequently done on paper.


Santhal tribes' Jadopatia paintings

These paintings were popular in Jharkhand, West Bengal's Murshidabad, Birbhum, Bankura, Hooghly, Burdwan, and Midnapore districts, and Bihar's Santal Parganas.


Scroll paintings, or Pata, have been popular since ancient times in various parts of India.

The predominant colors of the Jadopatia paintings are golden yellow, purple, and blue, which are taken from natural materials such as the leaves of certain plants, soil, and flowers that are widespread and abundantly found in the region.


Scroll paintings, or Pata

The brushes these artists used were made up of bunches of goat hair attached to a tiny stick or porcupine quill.

Previously, the paintings were created using natural colors derived from vegetable matter or minerals.


From the 1940s, colors were available in the bazaar.


But still, the jogendra chitrakars continued to employ soot for black, vermilion for red, and riverbed mud for a deep reddish-brown, and only purchased blue and yellow from the bazaar.



Despite the color palette being limited, the colors employed serve maximally for poetic or dramatic purposes.

Tigers are painted a bright yellow, brown, grey, or even blue or green with tints of red. Blue elephants and red horses present an aura of wealth and splendor.


jogendra chitrakars

Sohrai celebration is shortly followed by Diwali harvesting.

On this day, the tribals paint images of their house walls.

On the day of Sohrai, the village Lora brings the animals to the forest in the morning and welcomes them back at their door in the afternoon.


They show "Arifan" at his front door in this sequence.

"Aripan is completed on land."


Dung is used for cleaning the soil.

The rice flour solution is then presented as "Aripan," which assumes a geometric shape and enters the animal home on these paintings; this portrayal is done only by the women of the family.

The background of the walls in the gorgeous images corresponds to the original tint of maturity.

It's constructed up of brown resin, lap (cauleen), and black (manganese).


Sohrai celebration

The reproduction, female-male bonding, magic, and sorcery, which are portrayed by symbols of brides, animal-eaters, tortoises, which are popular and valid for the race's progress, are generally the themes of Kohbar's paintings.


Elephants, reptiles, fish, birds, lotus, and other flowers, for example.

In addition to this, different kinds of Shiva and human figures are utilized.


The scrolls are constructed from scrap paper that has been abandoned by businesses or offices.



These are formed of sheets of paper that have been glued or sewed together, with a piece of old fabric or calico attached to the end to preserve the paper from damage.

The cloth's two ends are stitched around circular pieces of bamboo, one of which works as a roller around which the scroll might be rolled.


Jadopatia scrolls in the Santal Parganas

Despite minimal colors and materials, Jadopatia scrolls in the Santal Parganas depict a wide range of emotions and styles, with constant adherence to some foundational concepts.


The Jadopatias of neighboring circles were aware of one other's familial idioms and subconsciously borrowed from one another.