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Seattle Art Museum (SAM)

Horizontal painting of a snake and winged insects

Photo: Scott Leen

Horizontal painting of a snake and winged insects

early 21st century

The colorful Sohrai style of Adivasi painting references the Sohrai harvest festival, which celebrates the importance of cattle and other wildlife and is one of the primary festivals of the Santal people. During celebrations, local artisans create murals on mud walls by dipping their fingertips in paint. These traditional murals and Sohrai works on paper contain images of harvest and nature to welcome the harvest and honor their livestock. Although not a farm animal, the snake is a vital part of the ecosystem and is revered by some local practitioners. This artist has emphasized the sinuous lines of the snake while butterflies dance upon its body.
Sohrai colored in ochre acrylic (earth colors with commercial binders) on paper
Painting: 22 1/2 x 30 1/4 in. (57.2 x 76.8 cm)
Frame: 33 1/2 x 41 1/2 in. (85.1 x 105.4 cm)
Gift of Joseph E. Reid and Batya Friedman
Provenance: The artist (Tribal Women Artists Cooperative, Hazaribagh, India); gifted and sold, via Bulu Iman (Founder, Tribal Women Artists Cooperative), to Joseph Reid (d. 2016), Winthrop, Washington, 2008; bequeathed to Batya Friedman, Seattle, Washington, 2016; to Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, Washington, 2022
Photo: Scott Leen
Not currently on view


Exhibition HistorySeattle, Washington, Seattle Asian Art Museum, Boundless: Stories of Asian Art, Feb. 8, 2020 - ongoing [on view beginning Jan. 13, 2023].

Seattle Art Museum respectfully acknowledges that we are on Indigenous land, the traditional territories of the Coast Salish people. We honor our ongoing connection to these communities past, present, and future.

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