India | Maharashtra

Warli Paintings

Warli Paintings, also known as Chawk, is the art of wall painting practiced by the Warli Tribe, the largest tribe found on the northern periphery of Mumbai, of Maharashtra. This highly ritualistic art form is believed to have originated in the 10th century and was widely used to embellish the walls of village houses.

Warli Paintings are traditionally done by Warli women, especially during wedding ceremony. Warlis call them as ‘Lagnache chitra’ meaning marriage paintings. The painting is regarded sacred and without it the marriage ceremony is incomplete.

These paintings are made using rice paste and straws, on the mud walls of the houses. Goddess Palghat, the goddess of trees and plants and the symbol of creative energy, is the central figure featured in these paintings.

A typical Warli Painting depicts a village landscape with farms, trees and domestic animals and birds. It does not narrate mythology or any great epic. Farmers cultivating land and marriage ceremonies are the mostly repeated themes. The human figures in the painting are simple.

This ancient art form, which became popular only in the early 1970s, is now commercially available on cloth and paper.

Updated on 17th December, 2014


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