Indian Tribal Art Tour – A Beautiful Indian Folk Art Journey 

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Indian Tribal Art Tour – A Beautiful Indian Folk Art Journey 
Indian tribal art by me for International Exhibition

Indian Paintings have a glorious history since 30,000 years. The significance of Indian paintings was predominantly seen in the pre-historic age which can be depicted from paintings on uncut stones or rocks at Bhimbhetka rock shelters in Madhya Pradesh (central India).  These stone-age rock paintings show the rich and glorious history of Indian paintings for centuries and gradually developing into one of the best art forms in the artist’s world. Various kinds of Indian folk art or Indian art forms can be seen on the walls of ancient palaces, frescoes, temple ceilings or facades, murals on walls of solid structures, miniature work on fabrics, paper, etc. These tribal art forms passed on from generation to generation which generally depicts religious tales, daily life, general stories, and a great alternate to view them instead of reading. In this post, I will introduce you to some unique and peculiar Indian art forms paintings and so let’s go for Indian tribal art tour – a beautiful Indian Folk art journey. 

Indian Tribal Art Tour – A Beautiful Indian Folk Art Journey
Framed Warli Art Painting

Basic features of Indian Tribal Art Tour – A Beautiful Indian Folk Art Journey 

  • All regions or states of India have their unique and distinct art form.
  • In ancient days, the products used in creating paintings or art forms were organic. Dyes were naturally made from trees or flowers.
  • For drawing patterns, mostly mud, leaf, plant sticks, charcoal & soil were used instead of expensive modern brushes.
  • Generally, these Indian art forms belong to a specific tribe and they are known as the expert in particular art forms. These art skills were passed on from generation to generation.
  • Though colors are naturally made, paintings never got faded or color ran out from them till now.
  • All forms of art depict the general lifestyle of the peculiar tribe, daily life, or some mythological story.
  • Due to modernization in artistic skills, nowadays fashionistas are promoting these art skills on various mediums like fashionable dressing, home décor articles, while preserving the ethics of paintings.

Let’s check some of the famous works from Indian Tribal Art Tour – A Beautiful Indian Folk Art Journey 

MADHUBANI PAINTINGS

Indian Tribal Art Tour – A Beautiful Indian Folk Art Journey 
Madhubani Painting by me for Art Exhibition – Now Sold out

Introduction – Originated in present Bihar and Nepal. Also known at Mithila Art and is linked to the mythological kingdom of Janak (Goddess Sita’s father). This folk art originated 2500 years back.

Peculiarities – This art form generally depicts colorful mythological characters or humans, geometrical patterns, animals like peacock, fish, etc. These patterns are generally drawn by the women of the Mithila tribe in the Indian sub-continent.

Indian Tribal Art Tour – A Beautiful Indian Folk Art Journey
Madhubani fish painting by me

Traditional Method to do Madhubani painting – Done by the twig of a plant, fingers, thin branch of the tree, nib-pens, and match-sticks. Generally organic dyes and rice flour paste were used in traditional ancient paintings. The primary color scheme is prominently seen in these paintings instead of the secondary color scheme. Nowadays various colors or mediums are used to create these paintings in various forms.

Indian Tribal Art Tour – A Beautiful Indian Folk Art Journey
Madhubani art by me on wooden trinket box

Where can it be seen – Walls, fabrics, utensils, home décor objects.

Facts about Madhubani –  This Madhubani art form which was very famous in ancient ages was re-discovered by Britishers in the 1930’s during a massive earthquake and then it gained lots of popularity in the art world.

WARLI PAINTINGS

Indian Tribal Art Tour – A Beautiful Indian Folk Art Journey 
Warli painting done by me to exhibit in International Art Exhibition

Introduction – A peculiar and unique art form originated in the Western Ghats of India. It has a glorious past since 2500 BC. Also known as one of the famous and oldest art forms of Indian tribal art.

Peculiarities – Light-colored figure is drawn on a dark background. Generally background or backdrop is colored organically by dark-colored substances like mud or charcoal. Light-colored patterns or figurines are drawn with rice flour paste. Generally, daily activities like community dance, farming, cattle grazing, cooking, and other activities of the village are shown through this art form.

Indian Tribal Art Tour – A Beautiful Indian Folk Art Journey 
Warli Art work on wooden box by me.

Traditional Method to do Warli painting – Mostly triangles, circles, and lines are drawn to form a human being, animal, or objects of nature. For eg, to draw a human being – two triangles facing from apex to apex are drawn for body and connected by a circle as head and then lines are drawn to depict limbs. To show movement the shapes are titled or given some angle. Nowadays these Warli paintings are innovatively done with many color schemes but mostly dual color schemes are adapted. Now many people are trying out Warli Paintings in the reverse color scheme too like light background and dark patterns.

Indian Tribal Art Tour – A Beautiful Indian Folk Art Journey 
Warli Art work with reverse color schemed by me

Where can it be seen – In ancient times, these paintings were mostly done on mud walls of huts or houses. Nowadays Warli art is prominently seen on fabrics, home décor, and canvas.

Indian Tribal Art Tour – A Beautiful Indian Folk Art Journey 
Daily life of village through Warli Art by me on Wooden Box

Facts about Warli –  Warli Art belongs to the Warli community tribe which is one of the largest tribes in India.  In the 1970s this art got official recognition though it has centuries-old significance. 

Indian tribal art - Warli art workshop
Indian tribal art – Warli art workshop by me in International Art Exhibition

GOND PAINTINGS

Indian Tribal Art Tour – A Beautiful Indian Folk Art Journey 
Gond Art painting by me

Introduction – Vibrant bold-colored paintings made by the Gond tribe of central India. These paintings are predominantly seen in Madhya Pradesh (state of India) but it is also found in neighboring states of Madhya Pradesh like Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, and Maharashtra. This Gond art form is existing since the Mesolithic period and the Gond tribe is also one of the largest tribes in India. This tribe is known for artistic skills in painting and music.

Peculiarities – Bright and rich colored nature forms like animals, trees, or mountains are drawn on a light background. Lines and dots are filled into these figures to show movements and curves. Generally primary colors that are organically derived from nature are used to fill the figures. This art form is a close association of humans with nature.

Traditional Method to do the Gond painting – As this art form is the close association of humans with nature, natural forms are drawn, and then they are filled with organic colors. In these figures detailing is done by dots, small lines, dashes.

Where can it be seen – Gond people used to believe that these paintings bring good luck if you view them. That is why they used to decorate their houses with these traditional patterns. Nowadays you can find these paintings on canvas, fabric, home décor stuff, and walls.

Facts about Gond – Many people say that these Gond paintings resemble Aboriginal paintings of Australia.

LIPPAN ARTWORK

Indian Tribal Art Tour – A Beautiful Indian Folk Art Journey 
Lippan art work by me – I selected monochrome color scheme

Introduction – A traditional artwork of Kutch, Gujarat (western state of India) which comprises of mud and mirror. Also known a Mud & Mirror work nowadays. Mostly done by the Rabari community of Gujarat to decorate the interior of their houses.  Still is has not been established about the age of this artwork or from when it was practiced.

Peculiarities – Generally dual or mono-color scheme is used for these paintings.  It is said a combination of mud and mirror used to keep the huts of this community cool. Mostly geometrical or floral patterns are seen in this traditional artwork of Gujarat.

Indian Tribal Art Tour – A Beautiful Indian Folk Art Journey 
Lippan Art work from Gujarat by me

Traditional Method to do Lippan Artwork – Mud work is done with the mixture of mud & camel dung and then small cuts of mirrors in various shapes are organized around this mud work.  The mud work is like sculpting and is done in such a way that it gives an embossed or raised effect on the surface. Nowadays people use polymer, sculptor’s clay, plaster of paris to do the mud work.

Where can it be seen – Walls of houses and on canvas.

Facts about Lippan Artwork –  This unique artwork is now gaining lots of popularity by artists and interior decorators of the modern world. They are now using this artwork to create unique walls of restaurants and hotels.

RAJASTHANI MURAL ART

Indian Tribal Art Tour – A Beautiful Indian Folk Art Journey 
Mural Art painting by me for International Exhibition

Introduction – A kind of embossed mural painting done on wood or canvas depicting Rajasthani village life.

Peculiarities – It is a kind of relief work and done on a hard surface to give an embossed look. The whole painting is created in such a way that it gives some 3D effect to some extent.  Detailings of the objects are given embossed look.

Indian Tribal Art Tour – A Beautiful Indian Folk Art Journey 
Embossed Detailing in Rajasthani Murat Art

Traditional Method to do the Rajasthani Mural Art – Done on a wooden surface or hard canvas.  After drawing the sketch, the embossed part is selected and then clay or cloth is used to give an embossed look. Generally jewelry of women, doors, or window frames, folds on clothes are given embossed look. After drying of embossed areas, the whole painting is painted by any type of color but with bright colors.

Where can it be seen – Huge murals on walls or large-sized framed canvas.

Indian Tribal Art Tour – A Beautiful Indian Folk Art Journey 
Ready to display my work for International Painting exhibition

Facts about Rajasthani Mural Art –  Rajasthani Art form is always colored in bright colors and lots of detailing is shown in them. Adding jewelry or intricate patterns on the surface is a key feature of doing this work. Every painting depicts the village lifestyle of Rajasthan.

INDIAN TRIBAL ART DISPLAY IN MANY ART EXHIBITIONS

I have also exhibited in many international shows and exhibitions to display Indian tribal art in many forms. 

I hope you loved reading many Indian art forms or cultural Indian folk art. Let me know your favorite folk art form from India and how as your virtual Indian Tribal Art Tour – A Beautiful Indian Folk Art Journey. I would be glad if you try to create some of these art pieces at your home whenever you have free time.

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48 Comments

  1. I have always been so fascinated by art history. Like you mentioned the tales and the religious stories I have always found to be interesting. I also find it interesting what the dyes were made from and items used verse brushes that you have mentioned. How amazing is it that Madhubani art was re-discovered after a massive earthquake. That makes me wonder what other pieces of artwork are just waiting to be re-discovered still! The Warli art to me presents a loving, joyous life style. Incredibly happy feelings I get from it. This may be from the presentation of the dancing in these pieces, that I think this. My favorite is the mud and mirror work. I find such beauty in this work. Thank you for sharing these beautiful pieces!

  2. The uniqueness and intricate design of each of these art styles is blowing my mind. This was all know knowledge to me and I’m amazed at the thought, dedication, and beautiful heritage which goes into all of the art. Also, the fact that dyed were naturally made from trees or flowers is INCREDIBLE. I loved learning so much here. ✨Morgs*

  3. Indian art is beyond beautiful and we have so much. Even I make Warli and Gond. In fact Warli is my favorite. I loved all your work. Rajasthani painting work is the best. During this lockdown, even I have been using time to discover more art works. Do check out Kalighat painting style. I quite liked it.

    1. Good to know about Kalighat painting style, will try it now. I am glad, you too share same interest in art and paintings.

  4. I did not know much about Indian paintings before reading this, so interesting. Incredible that plant sticks were used for brushes. Shocked that the colors were made from natural ingredients but have not faded, especially the brightness of the Madhubani and Gond paintings.

    1. Yes Sherianne, they used to make these colors by special techniques like by boiling with many other herbs and leaves so that they do not run out or get fade. Even now also this is a common practice to make home made dyes in rural areas of India and these colors look very natural.

  5. Wow, Yukti! Those are some really beautiful paintings and artwork. You have got an admirer in me now! Indian tribal and folk art are incredibly vibrant, diverse and beautiful. I am so glad that you are working on them. I would also love to see your work on Pattachitras of both Odisha and Bengal some day! Hope to connect with you sometime and talk over these art forms.

  6. What bright and colourful tribal artwork. I know nothing about Indian art in general so reading this was interesting. I particularly like the Gond paintings. They’re bold and vibrant, plus they’re said to bring good luck!

  7. Geat work on your own mural painting Yukti! I was due to travel to India in April and one of the places we were staying offered gond art classes, I was looking forward to trying it 🙁 I really hope I can reschedule the trip soon. Until then I will be reading lots of interesting posts about India like this one 🙂

  8. I was immediately stunned when I heard that Indian paintings have a history over 30,000 years. Interesting to see a variety and find out more about the history of different tribes. And fascinating that the art styles vary so much. The bright colours of the Madhubani and Gond Paintings made me smile. Mud and mirror is certainly a twist on multi-media art. With a little camel dung thrown in! I think it would be good to see the various styles in an art exhibition.

    1. If you love art works then you would truly love cultural art tour in India as India has lots of art forms since ages

  9. India has so much to see and enjoy in terms of art. I have always loved the Madhubani art and the Rajasthani art. The Rajasthani art – besides the mural, is great as miniature paintings too. Warli art has so much of history to it and that is what makes it impressive.

  10. Oh wow a painter and a blogger .. I see you are multiskilled and talented .. great .. I love painting too by the way .. Gond art is one such creation I want to learn more about . Warli art I remember I have a painting that I gifted to someone .. these all are getting super rare

    1. Yes Debjani, these tribal paintings are very beautiful and I too loved the Gond because of its vibrant color and the types of detailing they use for simple designs.

  11. I absolutely love folk art and get so excited when I can bring some home from my travels. I feel happiest when surrounded by the gorgeous folk art I’ve collected from many countries. Thank you for sharing these folk art styles of India!

  12. How fascinating! I loved the Indian art when I was there. I am familiar with the Warli style but wasn’t aware about all the other styles, Very interesting read

  13. Such an interesting post. We as a country are so rich in our art form and it was a real pleasure learning so much about how they evolved and how these paintings are actually made. Having been born in Bihar I have had the opportunity to know a bit about Madhubani paintings and having studied in Rajasthan about the paintings there.I love the Warli paintings as it is so very different and caught my attention the most.

  14. This is such a fascinating read especially for Art lovers. Art tells stories and it’s great to read that every region and state in India have their unique Art form. I particularly like that these days, the culture is not lost and these paintings are found in home decors and clothing. I like the simplicity of the Warli Art and how it tells a story. I also like the vibrant bold colour of Gond Painting. Amazing Art all round.

  15. Whoa! First of all, I didn’t know you are an artist! Love your works. Thanks for the compilation of various folk-arts of India. My favourite are always Madhubani and Worli. I like that Worli painting of yours with the reverse color scheme, interesting it is! I’ve seen the Lippon artwork in the houses when I visited Kutch. Love your monochromatic color scheme of doing it! I love it all!

    1. I am glad you loved all the works. Tribal art is interesting as they depict the lifestyle of that region or tribe.

  16. So fascinating! I love loking at the different art forms in different countries. The forms you mentioned are so unique. I love the Madhubani paintings, they are very colorful and interesting to look at. I have always found the Warli painting style fscinating as well. I would love to see some paintings in real life, I have only ever seen pictures.

    1. If you visit India, then you can see these art forms in tribal villages and still many ladies or craftsmen work on it authentically.

  17. The richness of Indian tribal art comes alive in vibrant colour in your post. Truly the legacy of the tribal art form of India is something to be proud of. As you have rightly mentioned, this art form has evolved from pre-historic times, Bhimbetka was probably the cradle of this art form. Each one of these forms have formed the basis of many other forms that evolved later. Madhubani, Warli, and others are all exquisite art forms that are the intangible treasures of India.

    1. Yes Sandy, these art forms are a great piece of proof to show the early mankind life in India and their activities depict India’s heritage and rich culture since past

  18. Wow this is absolutely beautiful. I have been doing a lot of tribal art as well. I find them so interesting and beautiful. And some of the facts about their history just blows your mind off.
    This post really is awesome and I loved each of your painting.

  19. Very interesting. I love all the colors in the art. Where it says ‘Art Work by me’ is that you? If so, how neat that you could create it all. Great talent. I really love the Gond Art, with its bright colors and more realistic design. Also, I really love nature, so the Gond Art lends itself to that too.

    1. Thanks Kathleen for loving the work, yes all done by me and exhibited many of them too. Gond art is really inspired from nature as most of the tribes were living very close to nature and they used to love their surroundings too.

  20. This style of art is so unique! I’ve never seen anything like it, and I love all the vibrant colors and bold patterns throughout. I’m so glad you shared this!

  21. npod#u[]tl30m

    Yukti, I knew you were an artist but I didn’t know you were amazing! You did all these paintings and artifacts, congratulations!
    I like the style of Madhubani the most because I like the bold color, the “childish” and simplicity of the drawings. Any of these paintings would fit into any modern home! I especially like the Madhubani painting with two fishes! Reminds me a lot Mexican style!

    Lippan art work is also something I have seen a lot in India! Really beautiful! I wonder how long the paintings and these art works took you?!

    1. Thanks for loving Indian Art and yes some of the Madhubani painting resembles Mexican art and infact I have seen there is close resemblance between Indian and Mexican culture. These paintings are addictive and if only drawing or coloring is required then it takes a full day to complete on small piece. For drying of clay work in Lippan and Mural work, it takes day as we have to wait for 1st phase to dry and then color it.

  22. I always kept wondering what its called – A giant wall panel with glass pasted on it of different shapes, until now. Now i know its called Lippan Artwork. My relatives had this installed on their wall, and until today i was unaware of what its called. One of the things that stands out about India is theres so much of history into everything. Ive heard of Warli paintings before, infact even seen some at all kinds of stuffs – bookmarks, bookcovers, on fabrics. But definitely hearing about Gond paintings for the first time. Quite an interesting post this was.

    1. India has lot of treasure and I agree we have seen some art works but we dont know their names. Good you have loved the post.

  23. They are all so pretty, but I really love the Lippan artwork. The 3d-ness of it is really pretty. I love seeing how different people around the world express themselves through art. So lovely!

    1. Thanks for loving all the works. I too love Lippan work as it has 3D embossed effect and very soothing too.

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