6 Incredible Indian Tribal and Folk Art Forms You Should Know About

The diverse art forms created by the native inhabitants of the country represent the cultural diversity of India, which includes more than 2,500 tribes and regional groupings. India’s ethnic and tribal art styles offer a glimpse into its rich cultural heritage. The rarity of traditional Indian arts, crafts and handicrafts for interior decoration is determined by their aesthetic perfection. Almost every state has a specific art form of its own. It is a great pride that the tribal arts of India are still practiced in many places and people have kept them alive today even after so many years. Here are the most beautiful and unique tribal and folk art forms of India that you should know about. (Also read: Famous Traditional Dance Forms of India You Should Know )

1. Warli folk paintings

Warli art depicts a range of travels. (Sandeep Bhoir)

This tribal art originated in the state of Maharashtra and is well known for its simple wall paintings. It is one of the best examples of folk art. This uses basic geometric shapes including the square, circle, and triangle. On a dark red background, these paintings are carved in white (with a bamboo brush). The image features images of everyday life, including dancing, fishing, farming, festivals, and other activities.

2. Bhil art

Art is an important part of the Bhil community. They participate in all kinds of art forms and activities, including their striking paintings. (Pinterest)

Seeing Bhil Art is like stepping into the house of painters and experiencing this intimate central Indian art form firsthand. The Bhils, who live in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Maharashtra, are India’s second largest tribal group. Traditionally, the clay walls of the houses in the hamlets of the Bhil people were decorated with their art. Neem sticks and other twigs would be used to paint beautiful pictures while using natural dyes.

3. The art of hinge

The Gond tribe of central India are known for their folk art known as “Gond painting”. (pinterest)

The Gond tribe of central India are known for their folk art known as “Gond painting”. It is made with the aim of communicating and preserving the culture of the Gond tribal community. Gond folk dances, music and paintings all fall under the category of Gond tribal art. The majority of these paintings are painted on paper, canvas, fabric, etc. and are rich in detail, lines, colors, mystery and humor. These are of high quality and cannot withstand any weathering for about 20 years.

4. The art of kavad

The Kavad or Kawad art of Rajasthan, which is around 500 years old, is practiced by the Jangid Brahmins of Chittorgarh. (pinterest)

The Kavad or Kawad art of Rajasthan, which is around 500 years old, is practiced by the Jangid Brahmins of Chittorgarh. It is a multi-panel three-dimensional box that can be opened. Several gods and goddesses have been painted on this portable temple. The Ramayana, Puranas, Bhagavad Gita and other epic stories are depicted on these panels made up of light wood.

5. Kalamkari

In Hindi, “Kari” means work and “kalam” means pen. Fine bamboo pens created by the artists themselves are used for this style of art. (Shutterstock)

In Hindi, “Kari” means work and “kalam” means pen. Beautiful bamboo pens created by the artists themselves are used for this style of art. During the control of the Sultans of Golconda, Kalamkari flourished and some paintings also display Persian influences. The most commonly used source of paint is vegetable-based ink. For royal families, a modern style known as Karuppur features a fabric embellished with gold brocade.

6. Phad

Phad, which has its roots in Rajasthan, is primarily a religious style of scroll painting featuring the folk gods Pabuji or Devnarayan (pinterest)

Phad, which has its roots in Rajasthan, is primarily a religious style of scroll painting featuring the folk gods Pabuji or Devnarayan. The canvas or cloth on which it is painted is called phad and is 30 or 15 feet long. These paintings are characterized by vegetal colors and a continuous narrative of the lives and valiant deeds of the deities.

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Christopher S. Washington