White geometrical patterns constituting to form the figures and forms which are often adorned with red and yellow dots and lines are known as Warli Paintings. The popularity and distinction of Warli can be extracted from the fact that they have been made for long in India.

Originating from the Warli Tribe in Maharashtra, the tribe keeps itself distanced from the modern culture and practices. Not only this, it is one of the oldest forms of art in history. Despite being popular among the tribal community in India, it has not gained much recognition. However, this form of art has a lot to be appreciated and possesses interesting origin and history tales to dig into.

What is the Warli Painting?

Warli painting is a tribal art which belongs to the Adivasis native to the North Sahyadri range in India. The Warli Tribe is the largest tribe of all in the northern outskirts of Mumbai, Maharashtra. The tribe avoids all the modern lifestyle despite being so close to the metro city.

This basic form of wall paintings employs basic geometrical graphics such as a circle, a square and a triangle representing their monosyllabic nature. The triangle and circles are rooted in their nature observation where the circle represents the sun and the moon while the triangle is a derivative of the mountains and pointed trees. The square patterns follow a different observation from the human inventions such as houses or temples.

Generally, the central motif of Warli paintings is encompassed by various scenes which primary portrays basic human activities and surrounding such as farming, fishing, dancing, festivals, trees and animals.

Let’s look into the Origin and History

Although Warli painting was first discovered in the early seventies, there are no proven records of the origin of this art form. However, according to several sources and evidence, the roots of Warli painting can be traced back to the 10th century A.D.

The culture of the Warli tribe revolves the concept of nature and its element which can be seen as the focal points in Warli painting. Scenes of farming, hunting, dancing, worship and nature are predominantly seen in the paintings.

What are the main features of Warli Painting?

1 . Warli paintings use the geometrical graphics which are a circle, a triangle and a square.

2 .The human forms represented in Warli painting are composed of two triangles connected at the tips representing the upper and lower part of the body.

3 .The monosyllabic paintings have their patterns observed from nature with the circle representing sun and moon and triangle being the trees and mountains. The squares are the interpretation of human inventions such as temples and houses.

4 .These paintings were traditionally made on the walls of the houses from white coloured paint which was made up of rice paste, binding gum and water.

It is believed that Warli paintings were made to invoke the power of the Gods and spiritual powers.