Blog post

Warli Painting

Posted On February 6, 2017 at 7:24 pm by / Comments Off on Warli Painting

The Name -Warli Painting

Warli painting is an art or style of painting practiced by tribal people called Warli, in the Northern Sahyadri ranges of Maharashtra state in India. It can still be seen to be used extensively in places like Dahanu, Palghar districts and some adjoining border areas of Gujarat.

The Art

The warli paining is a very rudmentary form of art yet very popular in India and outside. It has found application in most of the sectors related to art & fashion. It is one of the most simplest form to draw & learn and  is closest to the nature in terms of its subjects /motifs.It depicts various scenes from their daily routine in farming,religious ceremonies. It is painted by using a stick dipped in white rice paste on mud walls. Now a days they are painted on various materials such as paper, cloth, wood with usually dark background and white paint.

Simple Warli Motifs/Shapes

There are a few simple shapes used in almost all the Warli paintings such as the triangle, Circle, leaf shapes . Human is represented with 2 triangles joined to each other at vertex and hands/legs by sticks or lines. Check out a few simple Warli motifs in the pic below.

Warli Animal Motifs





Famous Warli themes

Some very famous and liked themes are – Tarpa Dance, Tree of Life, Lagnacha Chowk (Marriage celebration), Harvesting and many more..

Tarpa Dance:

It is a tribal dance preformed by the Warli people. The tarpa, a trumpet-like instrument, is played in turns by different men. Men and women join their hands and move in a circle around the Tarpa player.

The dancers follow him, turning and moving as he turns, never turning their back to the Tarpa. The Tarpa player plays two different notes, which direct the head dancer to either move clockwise or anti-clockwise.


Tree Of Life

The Tree of life theme depicts how the nature, especially trees play a vital part in their survival and everyday life. The painting depicts the life around a big tree with birds, houses and animals.





The Warlis are also highly social people, with many group activities like festivals, dancing, farming, harvesting, hunting, and community worship that are also usually depicted in their painting. The Men and women are seen engaged in various activities related to harvesting with beautiful background.




Lagnacha Chowk

Lagna Cha Chaowk (chowk meaning a square) is a four-sided pattern usually drawn by the married women called ‘savasin’, and is meant for praying long life for their husbands. Mostly done during the marriage season, Palaghata, the mother goddess or the symbol of fertility and union, can be found inside this chowk or square.




Modern Twist to Warli Art

With the Warli Art form becoming famous throughout the world, the art has taken various modern forms and has applications in decor, apparel and other areas. The paintings have become more colourful but the original method beats them all. Some of them have been made on industrial scale such as apparel, bags etc.

Here are few examples of how they are adapted by various artists to adorn their artifacts, paintings  etc.