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CRAFTS OF INDIA / WARLI PAINTING / FEATURES
WARLI PAINTING
Features of Warli Painting

- Warli Paintings are rudimentary wall paintings that use a very basic graphic vocabulary: a circle, a triangle and a square.

- The paintings are monosyllabic. The circle and the triangle come from their observation of nature, the circle representing the sun and the moon, the triangle derived from mountains and pointed trees. Only the square seems to obey a different logic and seems to be a human invention, indicating a sacred enclosure or a piece of land.

- Each is a ritual painting with the central motive being the square know in the local language as “chauk” or “chaukat”

- Chauks are mostly of two types, Devchauk and Lagnachauk. A Devchauk would contain something like the Mother Goddess known as Palaghata, symbolizing fertility.

- These paintings also serve social and religious aspirations of the local people. It is believed that these paintings invoke powers of the Gods.

- Male gods are unusual to these paintings. The themes are generally of spirits in human shape. The central motif of the ritual paintings are surrounded by scenes portraying hunting, fishing, farming, festivals, dances, trees, flora and fauna – activities, events, objects related to their daily life.

- Human and animal bodies are represented by two triangles joined at the tip. The upper triangle depicts the trunk, the lower triangle the pelvis. The precarious equilibrium symbolizes the balance of the universe, and of the couple. This depiction somewhat animates what they represent.

- Paintings traditionally have been done on the four walls of a house. Walls made of a mixture of branches, earth and cow dung that assumed a red ochre hue, was painted upon with a white colored specially-prepared painting material made up of rice paste, water and a binding gum. Painting was done with a short crude bamboo stick with one end chewed to make it as supple as a paint brush.

- These paintings also serve social and religious aspirations of the local people. It is believed that these paintings invoke powers of the Gods.

- Nowadays, these paintings are made on hand-made paper, usually green or brown, the colour of mud-walls with or without the cow-dung, with white paint. The paintings are simple line drawings, mere outlines with little or no detailing. Fabrics are the latest canvas to have these wonderful Warli paintings decorate them.