An ancient art of Maharahstra: The Warli Paintings

The Indian land has vast culture and traditions in every state. The states of India showcase a wide range of arts and artisans that display fine craftsmanship. Warli Art of Maharashtra finds its influence in the nearby states of Gujarat and Southern Rajasthan as well.  Let us find out what exactly is Warli art and why and who makes it.

Warli paintings are paintings created by the Adivasi Community or Warli tribes from the North Sahyadri Range in India. They carry on this tradition of painting back to 2500 or 3000 BCE.

Warlis are the largest tribes of Maharashtra live in northern outskirts of Mumbai. Women folks mainly do the paintings on the mud walls of the houses. Warli paintings are often compared with two very renowned arts of Ancient India.  Warli painting is compared the well known Madhubani paintings of Bihar. The Art’s mural paintings are also compared to those done between 500 and 10,000 BCE in the Rock Shelters of Bhimbetka, in Madhya Pradesh.

An ancient art of Maharahstra: The Warli Paintings
Source: Pinterest

What is the prime subject of these paintings?

Warli paintings illustrate the normal life of human beings and animals, along with scenes from daily life and hunting, dancing, sowing, and harvesting scenes.

What is used to make these paintings?

White is the only color used in making these paintings. Sometimes, red and yellow dots are used along with the white color. This color is prepared by grounding rice into white pigment made from a mixture of rice paste and water, with gum as a binder.

About Warli paintings:

They mainly use a set of basic geometric shapes like a circle, a triangle, and a square.  These shapes are symbolic; the circle represents the sun and the moon, while the triangle is derived from mountains and pointed trees, while the square is taken as a human invention depicting a piece of land.

An ancient art of Maharahstra: The Warli Paintings
Source: Craftsvilla

The focal motif in each of Warli paintings is the square, known as the “chauk” or “chaukat”, mostly of two types known as Devchauk and Lagnachauk. A Devchauk is usually a depiction of Palaghata, the mother goddess, indicating fertility.

Where are these made?

The ritual paintings are created on the inside walls of village huts. The most significant aspect of the painting is that it does not depict mythological characters or images of deities, but depict social life. These paintings are made especially during harvest or marriage to show the festivity.

Aren’t you amazed by the beauty of these paintings and its procedures? The art form of Warli is still practiced by these Warli tribes of Maharashtra. Do tell us in the comment section below, what do you think of this art form?

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