Warli Painting

The oldest Tribal Art of India – Warli

Originated by the Warli tribes from the Western Ghat of India, in 2500 BC, this one of the oldest art forms of India. It is mainly the use of circles, triangles and squares to form numerous shapes and depict daily life activities like fishing, hunting, festivals, dance and more.

What sets it apart is the human shape: a circle and two triangles. All the paintings are done on a red ochre or dark background, while the shapes are white in colour. The Warli art is characterised by abstraction of the natural world. Even the human figures are shown as two triangles joined at the apex representing the delicate balance of the world, much like the Chinese Yin and Yan.

The primitive style of rendering is reminiscent of cave paintings of early man but they have a rich wealth of folklore to draw from which gives them a storyboard appearance at times.

They are made on cloth that is coated with cow dung or a natural red extract called gerue, a white paste made from rice is then used as paint, with small twigs serving as brushes. Needless to say Warli art is a national heritage


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