Who doesn’t like Warli Art? Maharashtra is known for its beautiful Warli folk paintings. The touch, the feel, the appearance and the smell of mud walls…..everything evokes the power of human senses and takes him back to the era of pre-historic cave paintings.

Warli art, is cultural intellectual poetry for tribal community.
warli tribes belong to costal areas of Gujrat-Maharashtra borders and also live in mountainous region, they speak unwritten varli language. The art was first discovered in early seventies.IMG_3119_2

It is generally the women folk who are associated with this art and they used it to decorate the walls of village houses. This art form is far simpler than its counterpart Madhubani paintings ( Famous folk paintings of Bihar state)

In fact fashion designers were so influnced by this art form that they have created an entire line of dresses based on Worli patterns. There is an exclusive range from T-Shirts, tops, ladies/gents kurtas, saris to bed sheets and coasters widely available in shops.

It is soothing and has a rural, earthly appeal. The paintings depict festivals, harvesting, dancing, sowing and other day to day scenes of the tribal life.IMG_3161_2.JPG
Wall paintings are extremely elementary and use a basic graphic vocabulary of circle, triangle and a square. They depict social life, the images of animals and human beings are among the main motifs painted in a loose rhythymic manner.IMG_3132
Painted white on mud, the paintings are pretty close to pre-historic caves paintings and you can just smell the wet soil and observe the calloused brush strokes. White color is obtained from rice grounded into powder.Green or brown handmade paper is also used to paint them.IMG_3022_2.JPG

These folk paintings are considered sacred and supposed to invoke the powers of God.
No important rituals/functions (like marriage and naming ceremonies) takes place without these paintings.
So next time whenever you visit India and land in Mumbai do include a visit to Warli tribes in your scheme of things. You won’t regret it !!!IMG_3131


    1. The reason may be the quest to live in harmony with nature. The paintings are symbolic and this was the only means of transmitting folklore to a populace not acquainted with the written word. Now of course few painters paint purely for sales and not for rituals.


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