India’s artistic traditions are ancient and deeply rooted in the various religions prevalent in the nation. Indian art has constantly been able to fascinate not only the common man, connoisseur but also on a global scale. Each state in India has its own distinct cultural and traditional identity. Dating back to the 3rd millennium BC right up to modern time’s Indian folk reflects religious, political and cultural developments. Three major religions of the world – Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism originated from India and since then have strongly influenced the various art forms.
It reflects both life and creativity. Folk art of India often contains the visual expressions of the wandering nomads. Tribal Art is distinctive as it reflects the myths, legends snippets from epic and multitudinous gods born out of dream and fantasy of the tribal people. It is reflective of their passion and mystery. It contains the experiences and memories of their transient and dynamic pattern of life. Examples of Tribal Art usually include Warli and Gond. Tanjore paintings, Madhubani paintings, Pattachitra painting, Rajasthani Miniature paintings and Kalamezhuthu have been predominant forms of Folk & Tribal art.
Indian Art Can Fall Under Certain Time Frames
- Ancient period
- Islamic ascendancy
- Colonial period
- Independence and post-colonial period
Conventional arts & crafts have played a strong role in Indian art and reflect the culture and traditional vibrancy of the country. Indian Folk art takes a number of forms in India such as pottery, painting, textiles, baskets, kitchen objects, human body (tattoos & piercings), weaving, metalwork, dhokra art, paper-art, weaving and designing objects such as jewelry, and toys.
These objects usually play a significant role in people’s lives and are tied to their beliefs, customs, traditions and rituals. Indian Tribal art is reflective of the creative energy and thoughts prevalent in the rural areas. The different types of tribal art could extend to Warli paintings, tribal dances, tribal music, etc.
Indian Folk and TribalArt Can Be Of Different Types
- ‘Phad’ from Rajasthan: In these types of paintings, colour, costume & culture are reflected in the colors that have been used – vegetable dyes which the artist has to prepare himself. These types of paintings usually have a mythological meaning.
- ‘Warli’ from Maharashtra: Using rice paste on walls coated with cow dung, stick figures are drawn performing a number of activities such as hunting, dancing or cultivating land
- ‘Pithora’ from Gujarat: These types of paintings are characteristic of several tribes like Rathwas, Bhilals, and Naykas who live in Central Gujarat. They are ritualistic in nature.
- ‘Chittara’ from Karnataka: These types of paintings, prevalent in Karnataka have both artistic and socio-cultural values. They are made using intricate patterns that represent the auspicious ceremony and rituals of life, symbolized in geometric patterns.
- ‘Patua’ from West Bengal: These types of paintings are indigenous to West Bengal and usually are narrative of mythological and historical stories – which are a central part of cultural performance.
- ‘Madubani’ from Bihar: These types of paintings are compact to a geographical area. They use two dimensional imagery and the colors used are derived from plants. The themes represent Hindu deities like Krishna, Ram, Shiva, Durga, Lakshmi, and Saraswati. Natural objects like the sun, the moon, and religious plants like Tulsi are also widely painted.
Indian art has tremendously grown since ancient times reflecting the ideology and characteristics of each time period. With contemporary modern art having gained much attention a considerable amount of emphasis is yet laid upon folk and tribal art in India.