Skip to content

Tribal arts of Orissa, India

Join us on a Colouricious Holiday to try new crafts

Discover the Tribal Arts of Orissa

Colouricious Holidays offer a unique approach to exploring the creative world. Jamie Malden, an established crafter has explored India to find the best of textile art and ancient craft techniques. She now brings these treasures to you offering textile tours of this beautiful country.

Group-textile-holiday-Orissa-colouricious-holidayYou will fall in love with the vibrant colours and the incredible craftsmanship. You will have the opportunity to learn these wonderful skills that have been passed down through generations from where it all began. Prepare to be inspired by visiting remote villages, working with Orissa people.


These group holidays are a great way to meet creative people, feel comfortable to relax and be happy knowing that these fabulous hotels and private coaches have already been organised. Colouricious holidays is a trusted travel company. Come and watch our wonderful testimonials from our guests.

Ancient Tribal Crafts

One of the tribal arts and crafts traditions that Orissa is most famous for is appliqué, including the traditional applique techniques of Pipili, Khallikote, Tushra, Butapalli and Chikiti. Of course, you’ll have a chance to explore traditional Orissan appliqué techniques as part of this Colouricious holiday, but there is so much more to see and learn! The region is also famous for its silver filigree work, traditional stone carving techniques, and its thousands of years of accumulated architectural treasures!

You’ll tour several villages dedicated to one or more traditional art forms:

  • Sadhi weaving

Traditional Orissan sadhi weaving is a unique form of a continent-wide tradition. The Indian saree is called a ‘Sambalpuri Sadhi’ locally, and the tradition of making these is unique to the region. The warp and weft are separately tie-dyed before weaving begins.

  • potters village

At the traditional potter’s village of Bapaniguda, you will see how local clays and minerals have been used to make both sacred and practical vessels since the first stone age peoples migrated to the region, long before recorded history.

  • basket weaving

The basket weaving tradition of Eastern India is at least a sold as the pottery tradition. Orissa puts a unique spin on both the bamboo basket weaving techniques usually associated with Bengal, and the ‘moonj’ monsoon grass weaving techniques of Utar Pradesh.

  • Dokhra metal art

Dokra metalworking techniques that date back to the prehistoric civilisation of Mohenjo-Daro are the specialty of villages like Devrai Art Village. Dokhra metal work is a unique example of ‘lost wax casting’ and it is produced in the manner handed down for thousands of years today.

  • stone carving village

The most ancient Orissan stone carving techniques are still practiced in villages like Bhubaneswar, Puri and Lalitgiri. You will have the opportunity to see how some of the most beautiful statuary and architectural decorations in the region were produced.

  • Hand painted textiles

Orissan Applique workshop.


This technique began as a religious observance. It was first used to decorate awnings, umbrellas and shades for statues, effigies and shrines to spiritual entities like Balabhadra, Jagganath and the goddess Subhadra. Whilst the finest examples can still be seen in this traditional context, the technique is also widely used to decorate non-sacred items with the same motifs, primarily animals and birds, flowers and leaves, and other designs inspired by nature.

Colour choice is also important to traditional Orissan applique work. The vast majority of traditional pieces are produced from only four colours – black, white, red and yellow. The striking effect is achieved by stitching highly contrasting colours together.

Orissa has been recognised as the source of some of the world’s finest and most unique examples of traditional applique for centuries. In the modern context, these classic motifs are still stitched into textile goods of all kinds, from wall hangings to umbrellas.

Recent centuries have seen the inclusion of green to the traditional 4 colour scheme, and the addition of embroidered decorative elements. In this workshop, you will have a chance to practice both the most ancient techniques as well as the more modern variations.

Learn, create, be happy!

Colouricious Holidays ATOL Logo
Colouricious Holidays ATOL Logo