“A man paints with his brains and not with his hands.” Michelangelo
This is a tribal form of art practiced by “Warli” / “Varli” tribe of the north Maharashtra and borders of Gujarat. Traditionally the art was only done on the walls of the houses during weddings and various festive seasons. The exact origin of this art form hasn’t been discovered yet, but the roots can be traced to a period between 2500 to 3000 BC. These are ritualistic forms of painting done by women in a mural form during childbirth. It has been passed down from generation to generation in the tribe. Thus, it has occupied an important position in the culture as well as expanding its forms to include painting, canvas and fabrics. It is different with the simplicity and sober color usage to depict life through symbol, shapes and figures. The paintings are done using washable materials, thus, it could be washed and then repainted over during next festive season.
The original mural style paintings were made up with basic techniques. The paintings were done with the help of white color created by combination of rice paste, water and gum on the walls made with cow dung, mud mixed with branches to create the signature ochre red colored background. Various sticks and twigs were used to create figures and designs.
From monochromatic appearance to simple designs and authentic colors, warli paintings have been proved to gain real fame. They are not really colorful, but they depict the scenes from social life of the tribe, rather than religious or mythological characters. They depict different activities such as hunting, harvesting, drawing water, fishing, dancing, etc.
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