Kala Art and Design

Traditional Art- Warli Painting

By Simi Tresa

Originated by the Warli tribes from the Western Ghat of India, in 2500 BC, this one of the oldest art forms of India. 

The idea of warli centred around the concept of Mother Nature and parts of nature. Farming was the main source of life for this tribe. 

This art uses set of basic geometric shapes like circle, triangle, lines and square. These shapes were different elements of nature. Circles represented sun and moon while triangle represented mountains and pointed trees. In ritual paintings festivals and dances were common. People and animals represented by two inverse triangles joined at there tip. Warli also represent day to day life and activities of village people.

One of the aspects that warli art depicts is the ‘Tarpa dance. Tarpa is a trumpet-like instruments played by village mens in turns. Men and women entwine there and hands and move in circle around the Tarpa player. Formation of circle by men and women in village said resemblance of circle of life.

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