Home Culture Handicrafts The Ancient Indian Folk Art Tradition of Warli

The Ancient Indian Folk Art Tradition of Warli


Indian Paintings have always been famous for super creative and imaginative work. Warli Paintings are the ancient Indian folk art tradition of Warli Tribe in Indian state of Maharashtra.  Warli or Varli tribe is an ancient East Indian Tribe of India. These tribes are the scheduled Tribes of India. Warli is a small tribe inhabiting in the remote regions of Maharashtra. The style is some what similar to the pre historic cave paintings.

The Origin:

It is not clear as to when this art of painting came into existence but historians believe that it can be traced back to 2500 BC and 3000 BC. This art was first discovered in early seventies of the last century. Since then the art has traveled across borders and has now become a famous art found on various home décor products. These home décor product have an international appeal and are in high demand.

These paintings don’t depict the Hindu Gods and Goddesses or any other deities rather they depict the normal, day to day and social life of common people. These paintings are mainly created on mud walls of tribal houses. Women are mainly engaged in the creation of these paintings.

The style:

The trademark of Warli paintings is the use of geometric designs such as triangles, circles, squares, dots and crooked lines. These geometric designs are used to depict human figures, animal figures, houses, crops etc. The themes are often repetitive and symbolic in nature. These paintings look complicated but if you practice they are easy.

In a loose rhythmic pattern, the day to day life scenes are depicted, the main images are of human beings and animals. Painted white on mud walls, they are pretty close to the historic cave paintings in execution and usually depict scenes of humans engaged in activities like hunting, dancing, sowing, harvesting, going out, drawing water from well, drying clothes or even dancing.

This art form is simple in comparison to the vibrant paintings from Madhubani. The only color used in creating Warli paintings is white used on a red earthen background. This white color is obtained from grounding rice into white powder.

Today Warli paintings on paper have become very popular and are now sold all over India and across the world. The art has commercialized a bit, now days you’ll find home décor items, fabrics, cushions wall hangings ect. painted in Warli style. But they look best on the walls or in the form of huge murals that bring out the vast and magical world of the Warlis.

Warli has now become the fine “Indian tribal Art” and has made its way to the world market and has become one of the priced possessions of art galleries and private collectors all across the globe.


  1. Excellent blog here! Also your website loads up fast! What host are you using? Can I get your affiliate link to your host? I wish my web site loaded up as quickly as yours lol

Comments are closed.