Folk Tales of Warli Painting

Folk Tales of Warli Painting
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One of ancient and oldest form of art commonly known as Warli painting is in form of tribal art which owes it origin from Maharashtra in India. This art is very popular now a days as people are elaborating warli paintings in many other forms, like paintings on glass, paintings on wall, etc. Warli painting is a style of hereditary art mostly created by the tribal people from the North Sahyadri Range in India. This is hereditary art which was originated in Maharashtra, where it is still practiced today 


Maharashtra is widely known for its Warli tribal paintings. Warli is name of the largest tribe found on the northern outskirts of Mumbai, in Western India. Warli Art was first discovered in the early seventies. While there are no records of the exact origins of this art, its roots may be traced to as early as the 10th century A.D. This ritual art took a contemporary turn when Jivya Soma Mashe and his son Balu Mashe started to paint in this style. They painted from an artistic perspective and not a religious or cultural one. Jivya has since then come to be known as the father of modern Warli painting.Warli is the evocative expression of their daily and social events Warli tribe of Maharashtra, used by them to embellish the walls of village houses. This was the only means of transmitting folklore to a populace not acquainted with the written word. This art form is simple in comparison to the vibrant paintings of Madhubani

What is Warli Painting 

Warli is one of the oldest forms of Indian tribal art and its origins is in Warli region of Maharashtra. This form of tribal art mainly makes use of geometric shapes such as circles, triangles and squares to form numerous shapes depicting life and beliefs of the Warli tribe. In olden days, Warli art was done

on walls on special occasions. The painting would be done over a brown background which would basically be a mixture of mud and cow dung cakes. The white pigment used to draw shapes and figures would be a mixture of rice mixed with water and gum. One of the most popular themes in Warli art is a spiral chain of humans around one central motif. This in accordance with their belief that life is an eternal journey, and it has no beginning and end.

Evolution in Warli Painting 

With increasing globalization it is resulting in the change of the overall aspect of the Warli tribal art. The background of the painting has been changed from mud walls to paper and fabric and other for especially for exhibitions. Also, the medium of the painting changed accordingly from rice paste and bamboo twig to poster colour and brush. Warli art was also a way of life. Originally, the art was done on walls by women of the tribe. The wall was plastered with cow dung and red mud upon drying. The plastered red mud acts as the canvas on which ground rice paste was used to draw. Now a days with coming up of new innovative ideas people are using Warli paintings on different backgrounds like paper, fabric, bottle, walls of street, glass, etc. Warli painting is also done on Sarees, Purses, Bags, keychains and many others. 

Warli art is a favourite with our artistic partners – and we invite you to showcase or share your art with handicraft lovers who are kin to Warli products.

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