What is Indian Tribal Art and Folk Art?

Paper artwork, drawings, ceramics crafts, textiles, metal crafts, toys, and jewelry crafts are among the many vibrant types of Indian tribal and folk art which have survived in the nation since ancient times. These diverse forms of art are rich expressions of the many traditions, customs, and festivals observed by the country’s citizens, demonstrating unity. India’s tribal and folk arts have been changing for a long time. They’ve developed with classical art. Tribal and folk art are created by people from many social groups and have a distinct indigenous character. Here are some types of Indian tribal art and folk art:


Madhubani is an Indian artistic work originated by females from Northern Bihar. It is famous for its elaborate patterns and brilliant colors. Despite being practiced for centuries, Madhubani paintings were mostly recognized until (1934).

Madhubani paintings showcase environmental and religious aspects and are traditionally created for special occasions and festivities. Gods such as Krishna, Durga, Lakshmi, Rama, Shiva, and Saraswati are commonly described, as are things such as the moon and sun. This art type is thought to have developed during the Ramayana age.

Gond Art

The Gonds are one of India’s biggest tribes, with a history dating back fourteen hundred years. The Gonds are claimed to believe in an ancient idea that a beautiful picture brings good fortune, and it is this concept that is at the basis of this artistic work. The Gonds would paint their homes with ancient tattoos and designs to save them from evils and bring in good luck.

Gonds are strongly linked to nature, and their artwork depicts their customs and beliefs, the lifestyle of the village, and man’s amazing interaction with nature. Today’s Gond paintings use acrylic colors as well as natural colors sourced from the earth, flowers, and charcoal.

Warli Art

The Warli is an ancient tribe from Maharashtra and Gujarat famed for their crude wall paintings, which reflect a long-standing tradition dating back thousands of years. Warli art is known for its basic yet distinctive depictions of life, which include geometrical figures that symbolize people and animals. Hunting, farming scenes, and fishing as well as celebrations and dances, are depicted in the artworks. A recurring motif is the representation of the Goddess Of fertility as a sign of fertility. The Tarpa, a turn-based instrument, is frequently featured at the center, with linked men and women moving in a circle around it. This is considered to reflect the life cycle.

Saura Art

The beauty of nature is portrayed in Saura art. The (Tree of Life) which branches provide a home to humans and animals, conveys the lovely interaction between humans and nature. Saura paintings, have religious significance and are typically created as a devotion to their god. Natural colors are generated from neem, sisal, and other flowers and herbs in Saura painting. Saura art is frequently confused with Warli art from Western India. Yet, there are some minor distinctions between them. Saura art uses mathematical shapes in the same way that Warli art does, but the Saura shapes are bigger and more extended. Furthermore, Saura paintings employ a fish-net technique, in which the border is created first, followed by the patterns. The physical distinction between male and female, which is prevalent in Warli art, is less apparent in Saura art.

Bhil Art

The Bhils are among one of India’s greatest tribes. They live in Gujarat, Maharashtra and Central India. Bhil art uses brilliant colors to depict tribal life. Everything associated with their lifestyles is painted, representing changing of the seasons as well as natural events, (moon, sun the animals, rivers, trees, mythological creatures, and their Deity.

Bhil art, whether on paper or the walls of their homes, demonstrates the tribe’s natural sense of aesthetics. Rice, Haldi, kajal, and limestone are among the natural and vegetable dyes used by Bhil artists, as also acrylic colors.

Kalighat Painting

This painting style originated in Kalighat in Kolkata, in the nineteenth century. It was a moment when rising against the British seemed like a good idea. The artworks on fabric show Goddesses and Gods at first but soon changed their strategy to social reform. It aimed to improve viewers’ understanding of various situations by showing rich rulers drinking wine with ladies, clergy with ‘unchaste’ women, and policeman babus acting carelessly.

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