Sunday, March 29, 2009

What is the Origin of Warli Art?

The Warli or Varli are aboriginal or indigenous people who live in certain parts of India, primarily states of Maharashtra and Gujarat. They have their own beliefs, life and customs and they speak an unwritten Varli language mingling Sanskrit, Marathi and Gujarati words. The word Warli is derived from warla, meaning "piece of land" or "field". They carry a tradition stretching back to 2500 or 3000 BC. Warli art has become well known worldwide over the years for its universal aesthetic appeal.

Warli paintings use very basic graphic vocabulary: circle, triangle, line and square. Circle representing the sun and the moon, triangle derived from mountains and pointed trees. Only square seems to obey a different logic and seems to be a human invention, indicating sacred enclosure or a piece of land. Most of the Wali paintings depict simple village scenes such as farming, wedding, dances, prayers etc. I personally love warli paintings for their simplicity.

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