Unique & Oldest Indian Art – Warli Art Design

Apr/03/2022 / by Team SEEMA
Image credits: Image by marian anbu juwan via Pixabay

Warli Art

There is no sign of doubt that real India resides in the rural section of the country. Warli art is yet another gem coming straight from tribal culture. The richness of tribal culture needs no recognition, and this art personifies the charm of Indian tribal folk art and culture. But, sadly, not many people are familiar with the remarkable niche of art. That’s why here we are about to share an elaborated post regarding this art. Read on to know everything regarding this precious form of art.

The Amazements of Warli Art

You must be wondering how the notion of warli art or warli painting came into action. Well, if we make a flashback, we will observe that the chain of communication started with signs and symbols. Later these signs and symbols took the form of art, and that’s from where the presence of this art came in.

Tribal art is considered the best reflection of human communication. Yes, it all started to establish human communication, and soon after, it took the form of painting. Apart from aesthetic purposes, this art contributed massively to the expansion of tribal art all over the world.

History of Warli Art

Warli painting is a commendable type of art that was originated by the warli tribe. It belongs to the North Sahyadri region of Maharashtra state of India, which includes the towns Dahanu, Talasari, Jawhar, Palghar and Mokhada. The warli tribe is one of the most ancient tribes in the nation.

This art involves the connection with the agricultural lands, so the warli word states the mini portion of land. The initial relics of this art are from the 10th century A.D. However, researchers are researching the exact period of its origination. A few researchers hold the view that this art settled way before the 10th century in the Neolithic age. The pieces of warli derive the highlights of mother nature and its connection with mankind. Additionally, the shapes of its paintings match rightly with the cave paintings of Bheembetka (Madhya Pradesh).

Traditions of Warli Art

As the core values of tribal culture magnificently depict the Indian traditions, certain traditions relate directly with the portrayal of warli painting. The significance of this art is truly irreplaceable during tribal weddings. In fact, warli tribes live on a belief that no marriage could happen in the absence of this art. Additionally, the process of creating warli drawing on the walls before the marriages is known as Lagnacha Chowk. The best part about warli design is that it is highly dedicated to nature. Thus, from plants, animals to humans, this art considers all the elements of mother nature.

Types of Warli Paintings

As mentioned above, warli painting is mainly portrayed at the time of the wedding, so in this section, we are going to explore the main types of warli painting painted during the wedding season.

  1. Marriage Warli

The most initial and essential type of warli painting is the marriage warli which is drawn a day prior to the marriage by a Suvasini or a married lady. The sole purpose of marriage, warli, is to protect the couple from evil spirits.

  1. Kanna

Kanna is often synced with the sign of virginity. Suvasinis paints the kanna warli on the ground of Bride’s home while using turmeric and rice powder, and kumkum as the prominent shades.

  1. Tarpa Dance

Tarpa dance is the folk dance of the warli tribe. So, the artists of the warli tribe perform it at the night post-dinner. Basically, Tarpa is a huge phallic instrument created by the tribes. Tarpa players start the circle by standing in the middle and then the whole Tarpa wheel moves forward in the clockwise style.

  1. Ceremony Paintings

It’s the last kind of Warli design in which the groom goes on a horse to the bride’s home. This row consists of dancing and musicians. In the warli tribe, the bride sits on the front side of the horse.

Warli Art Technique

Warli designs are the simple geographic patterns that signify the existence of warli tribes. A bamboo brush paints all forms of warli and the red circular background stands as the canvas. This art mainly involves the use of rice powder (white colour), turmeric powder (yellow colour), and kumkum (red colour) and all these colours are compiled with gum to make it last longer.

At the present time, these designs are painted on red and green paper. Warli follows the inspiration of our day to day life and comprises human figures, plants, flowers and animals. Not just that, but it essentially involves the showcase of a farmer’s lifestyle and their contribution to the motherland.

Warli Art Characteristics

  • Warli art designs are the triangular and circular geometric patterns
  • This art represents the lifestyle of the Warli Tribe
  • It was the ancient form of human communication
  • This art is the foundation of the Warli tribe’s wedding ceremony
  • Crooked lines are used to portray human figures in this art
  • Red crochet painted background is the canvas for warli art
  • This art is one of the oldest forms of folk art

Final Words

All in all, this art is one of the most popular forms of folk art in India. Not just that, but it clearly highlights the spectacular human bond with mother nature. This was a comprehensive guide about warli art. This art still exists and there is no doubt that it’s one of the unique arts in India.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the meaning of Warli art?

Warli art is a form of painting or can say warli painting that belongs to the Warli tribe of Maharashtra. It holds the basic day to day elements like human figures, plants, animals and more.

2. What is Warli art famous for?

It is famous for its unique geometric dots, lines, and shapes, and it is mainly painted before the wedding ceremony in the Warli tribe.

3. What colours for Warli art?

Rice powder, turmeric powder and kumkum are the colours for this art.

4. What are the main features of Warli art?

Warli art designs are tiny figures which showcase the existence of the Warli Tribe.

5. What can we learn from Warli art?

This art highlights the base of human communication. Additionally, this art can teach the lessons of geometric patterns and shapes to the kids in the easiest way.


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