What the Warlis believe

Warli is a tribe in the western part of India, who make beautiful patterns on the walls of their homes, using mud-paste for base and a mixture of rice flour and gum as a paint to draw over the mud paste. they use chewed bamboo stick as a brush. Their representations usually have triangles, circles or squares. They believe that all of creation can be expressed with these shapes.

They believe that there is no life without mother earth, cultivation and cattle. They also believe music and dance to be an integral part of their lives. There is a special bagpipe that they use as instrument and people hold hands and dance around the bagpipe player to his tunes. They never face their back to it. This design is also commonly portrayed in Warli art.

warli farming 3 warli village 6

While I do not contemporise Warli art and dilute the essence of it, I don’t use mud-paste and rice flour too. So I use various colours that come to my mind and also varied mediums. The ones above are two different stories about Warli lifestyle. One on the left is about sowing harvesting, grinding seeds and cooking, as the story from flows from the bottom to the top. The other is about the kind of work that men do for a living like – hunting, guarding, working on the field, carrying grains and so on. If you notice, you will see that dancing is an integral part of all activities, a rejuvenating and bonding factor.

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