Art of the Warli - Center for South Asia Outreach

Art of the Warli Tribe
Western India
Dee Camp-White
Fulbright-Hays Summer Seminar Participant
July/August 2010
Where do the Warli live?
Important Facts
• For centuries, Warli painted on walls of homes.
• Background is clay or dung over branches.
• Paint is made from ground rice; brush is a chewed
bamboo stick.
• Pictures are changed with the seasons, an important
family event such as a wedding, or a festival.
Usually the women in the family did the
painting. Now men are learning the style.
To earn a living, Warli artists will now come to
a home and paint the walls in the Warli style.
Design Features
• Only a triangle, circle,
and a square are used.
• The circle represents
the circle of life.
• The square is an
important enclosed
space such as a home.
More Basic Design
• A straight line is made with dots or dashes.
• People are made with two triangles, one for
the upper body and one for the lower body.
Subjects of a Painting
• Village life: chores, children playing, taking
care of animals, cooking, planting, harvesting
• Holidays or festivals: celebrations honoring or
thanking a god
• Family events: births, weddings
Examples of Warli Paintings
Do you see:
•Sun and rain—both are
needed for crops to grow
•Peacocks—very special to
Indian people, it is a
symbol of good fortune
•Large tree-a symbol of
the importance of nature
•People working together
•Tarpa dancers with linked
Tarpa Dance
Working on a Farm
People of the Warli tribe are now
painting on paper and canvas
Coca-Cola used Warli designs for the
Dewali Festival in November 2010!
Painting in the Warli style
This is Vaishali Pathak and
her family. Vaishali is an art
teacher in Pune (about 100
miles east of Mumbai). She
taught herself to draw and
paint in the Warli style. To
put her own creativity into
her designs, she uses bright
colors and fabrics. Her
younger daughter, Trisha,
also loves to draw and paint.
Examples of Vaishali’s Art
The Goddess Durga is celebrated as
mother of the Universe. She is the
energy of the Supreme Being. She is
the power behind the creation,
maintenance and destruction of the
Trisha is learning to
draw from her Mom
In Conclusion
The Warli people share their stories and their art
with their children. In this way their culture can be
preserved for the next generation.
We will talk about:
What are some of your families stories?
What special skills do your family members have?
What has an older family member taught you,
or what would you like to learn?

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