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Tribal Art

Thursday, May 07th, 2009 | Author:

warliTribal art is a way of life. If anyone wants to know about a certain tribe and its culture then look at the art works produced by them. These art works offer best chance of looking into the philosophy of a tribe. Often depicted through colorful images, tribal art is nothing if not enchanting. Tribal art can also be described as traditional art of indigenous people. Numerous fascinating examples of tribal art can be found in regions such as India, America, Indonesia, Africa and Polynesia. These tribal arts have continued to flourish since centuries. It is a wonderful medium of expression for the tribes who have generally remained cut-off from the mainstream nation. For tribes, it is a form of recreation as well as celebration.



Warli paintings of India are the foremost tribal art in the Indian Territory. These paintings capture the life of the tribes and offer a valuable insight into the lifestyle of the tribes. Located in Maharashtra, warli tribe mostly resides in thatched mud-huts. The origin of this tribe goes back to Neolithic period between 2500 BC and 3000 BC. Whenever a wedding or birth ceremony takes place in the tribe, they celebrate it by adorning their houses with fascinating designs. Even during the harvesting season, paintings and designs on the walls are the most common method of celebration.


Warli Paintings have its own class, best represented in minimalistic style. The preferred color is white and background is almost always earthen. Philosophical and enlightening thoughts are manifested through these paintings. Design wise, simple lines and dots are mostly used in geometric fashion. Warli paintings are far away from any sort of pretentions and convey the message in the best possible way using minimum colors. Warli paintings have continued to exist in the modern era and as their popularity increases we are sure to witness many more of such profound paintings.


:- Image courtesy

Warli Art

Sunday, April 05th, 2009 | Author:


warli_art3Indian art is a conglomeration of diverse forms of art emerging from different parts of the country. Warli art is a part of the folk arts of India. The Warlis are people belonging to the scheduled tribe living in small districts or talukas of Maharashtra and Gujarat. Warli art is the folk art tradition of this tribe. It is believed that Warli art can be traced back to the Neolithic period between 2,500 BC and 3,000 BC. Today, Warli art is found in modern urban homes and has successfully reached the international world of art.

Quintessentially, Warli art is characterized to depict the basic principles of life especially living a tribal life.  Themes rotate around harvest season, marriage, child birth, rituals, festivals etc. It portrays two very essential characteristics: Simplicity and humbleness. Humble life of the Warli tribe can be seen through the activities that are depicted in the painting and the simplicity comes across with the kind of colours and designs that are used in the painting.

Some of the identities of Warli paintings are geometric designs such as, circles, triangles, squares, rectangles, curvy, crooked lines to depict human figures, animal figures, houses, nature etc.

Predominantly, Warli art uses monochromatic colours usually white on a red earthen background. Even with minimalistic use of colours, Warli expresses the folk life, their imaginations, their lifestyle and their beliefs.

A Warli painting with a marriage theme will typically depict their marriage God Palghat, men and women dancing n circles, birds, trees etc. The harvest season will depict the laborers cutting the crop in the fields. Modern adaptations in Warli art include bicycles and transistors apart from the elements of nature.