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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.