Who are the Warlis?

The Warlis or Varlis are an indigenous tribe or Adivasis. They inhabit certain locations in the mountains and coastal areas of the Maharashtra - Gujarat border and small pockets around them. Having their own set of animistic beliefs, they on account of intermingling with the locals of the place adopted many Hindu beliefs and traditions. They speak Varli, a language that belongs to the southern zone of the Indo-Aryan languages and the union territories of Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu. and which is an Indo-Aryan dialect that is a mix of Khandeshi, Bhili, Gujarati & Marathi. They make use of Marathi and Gujarati for writing.

Warli – a tradition

The Warli tradition is believed to be from way back in 2500 – 3000 B.C. and their mural paintings are said to be similar to that found in the Bhimbetka rock shelters of Madhya Pradesh. The Bhimbetka rock shelters are an archaeological site of the Paleolithic, exhibiting the earliest traces of human life on the Indian Subcontinent, and thus the beginning of the Indian Stone Age.