What are Warli paintings?
Warli paintings are the tribal wall paintings of the warli tribes of Maharashtra.Warli paintings generally depict the normal life-like images of human beings and animals, along with scenes from daily life. They also depict hunting, dancing, sowing and harvesting scenes. White is the only colour used in creating these paintings, with occasional dots in red and yellow. This colour is prepared by grounding rice into white powder.
The wall paintings by the Warlis use a very basic graphic vocabulary: a circle, a triangle and a square. The circle and triangle come from their observation of nature – the circle representing the sun and the moon, the triangle derived from mountains and pointed trees.
The central motive in each ritual painting is the square, known as the “chauk” or “chaukat”, mostly of two types: Devchauk and Lagnacha Chauk.
Devchauk (God’s Square): It is made with an outline of a square drawn on the inside of the house wall. They start filling up the squarish frame towards inside from these four lines with geometrical strips.
Lagnacha Chauk (Marriage Square): In this painting a decorative square is drawn and in its centre a suhasinis (married women) draw a horse on which the bride, groom and groom’s sister is shown sitting.
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The wall paintings are created mostly for special occasions such as weddings or harvests. This activity was a preserve of the women folk until the late 1970s, which is when Jivya Soma Mashe revolutionised the world of Warli Art.We are quite familiar with the growing popularity of Warli Art which is currently a hot trend on mugs, lanterns, walls, paintings, Did you know that the Warli origins go back to 2500 BC? It is indeed incredible that this tribal art is still in vogue after centuries of use!
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