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Warli Art

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Warli art is a form of tribal art indigenous to the Warli people who live in the Dahanu, Nashik and Dhulr districts of Maharashtra, Valsad district of Gujarat, and the Union territories of Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu. The word Warli means a piece of land in the Varli language. This is the reason why the square, which denotes a piece of land, plays an important role in the vocabulary of Warli art.

The Warli style uses basic shapes such as the circle from the sun and moon, and the triangle from the hills and tops of trees. Human are represented as two inverted triangles with a circle for a head. Faces are never given any detail whether it be a depiction of a animal, human or god. This vocabulary is repeated to make up a larger picture with themes from the harvest, hunting, fishing, and dances, nature, and animals.

Warli art is traditionally done on a red ocher background using only white paint made from rice paste and an adhesive. It was a form of traditional art and was created primarily for special occasions. Finally, in the 1970′s, with the help of Jivya Soma Mashe, Warli art began to be produced for art’s sake. This led to an artistic revolution and the promotion of tribal art in India.

Warli art by the warli tribe gives us a fair understanding about their religion. Can you tell from their paintings, whom they worship?
When does the year start for the warli people and why?

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