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Indian Art: Warli Art (Maharashtra)

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Today I am sharing about Warli art. A very popular art form in the region I am living in …..Maharashtra. You can connect with me on Instagram (click here) to check out some random images that I share every now and then. 

                                                                Warli Art
Warli paintings have gained global recognition for their simplicity and beauty. This is the simplest form of art that uses geometric shapes like circles, triangles, and lines.
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Origin: It is said that Warli Art was first discovered in early 70s. While there are no records of the exact origin of this art, its roots may be traced to as early as the 10th century AD. Warli folk paintings are from Maharashtra. Warli is a name of the largest tribe in the northern outskirts of Mumbai, in Western India. The word “ Warli”  means a piece of land or a field. Art is inspired by nature and depict social life of Warli tribes.

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Style: This art form unlike other Indian art forms do not depict mythological characters or images of deities, but depict social life of the Warli tribe. Warli tribes decorate their hut with Warli painting on walls. The ritual paintings are usually done inside the huts. The circle and triangle are inspiration from nature, the circle representing the sun and the moon, the triangle derived from mountains and pointed trees. Only square seems to be a human invention, indicating a sacred enclosure or a piece of land. Central motive in each ritual Warli  painting is the square, known as the “chauk” or “chaukat”, mostly of two types: Devchauk and Lagnachauk. Inside a Devchauk, you will find Palaghata, the mother goddess, that symbolizes fertility. Significantly, male gods are not usual among the Warli.

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Process: All the objects in the art are in a geometric shape of triangle, square or circle. Paintings use a very basic graphic vocabulary: a circle, a triangle and a square. Representation of human and animal bodies are done by two triangles joined at the tip; the upper triangle depicts the trunk and the lower triangle the pelvis. The walls are painted with a mixture of branches, earth and cow dung, making a red ocher background for the wall paintings. Warli tribes use only white for their paintings. Their white pigment is basically a mixture of rice paste and water with gum as a binding agent. Bamboo stick chewed at one end is used as a paintbrush.
The image below is a work of the tribal community in Maharashtra and shared by Dokka Srinivasu who blogs over at Heritage Of India.

Now sharing here is an image of wonderful transformation of a place from stark to fabulous. A very beautifully done Warli art that my friend has done on her terrace wall. You can read a complete story about this transformation and can find more images on her wonderful & lovely Facebook page ‘Love and Care’. Do let her know your love and care by comments and likes. Don’t forget to like her page.

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This is the simplest form of art and can be done by anyone after a little practice. I also tried my hand at this art. I did Warli art on this pot that I used for Karwachauth. Painting on this pot is depicting a happy couple and the moon on the night of Karwachauth.
Image: Mine
Hope you enjoyed reading through this post. Let me know your views in the comment section below.
In case you have missed my earlier posts on Indian Art find them below:
Happy Painting!!!

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26 Responses

  1. Thank you for sharing your knowledge about Warli art. Though the paintings are built up with simple elements they are very complex compositions and interesting to look at, beautiful! And interesting to know the material that is used for painting.
    Happy PPF

  2. this is wonderful! Second post I've seen which introduces me to a never-seen art form from India. THis looks very different, both in content and conventinos, from all i have generally come to know as 'Indian art' which of course is generally the portrayals of Krishna & Ganesh, etc which are almost part of western culture by now. love this!

  3. Hi Disha

    Thanks for your visit, comment and follow and Welcome to PPF 🙂

    I love our folk art forms too, immensely! I have tried some of the them and have enjoyed it a lot. In the given pictures I have tried the peacock one and Loved it!

    Nice work on the pot 🙂

    Glad to have 'met' you.

  4. Indian fort art has undergone a renaissance. It has evolved a long way. Willing to purchase this beautiful form of artworks? At , they sell you with 100% Original, Hand painted Indian Folk art painting at affordable price. Why do you want to miss this opportunity? Drop by their website to have a look at their exquisite collection.

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