The Art Blog by Wovensouls

Notes on Antique Textiles, Folk Art & Timeless Traditions – Jaina Mishra

Daily Art Fix – Warli Paintings on Dung

The original idea was to use the cow dung walls of homes as the medium to paint on using white pigment made of rice & gum.

Then at some point to make it transportable cloth pieces came to be used and to provide the dark contrasting background, a thin layer of cow dung was applied to the cloth as base.

And then the art flowed….using a chewed bamboo stick as a paint brush.

Over a dozen village scenes – bonfires, threshing, ploughing and harvest dances scenes have been rendered in the typical style of Warli tribals.

Vintage Warli Painting on cow dung baseVintage Warli Painting on cow dung baseScene of a village feast – barbecue

Nowadays dung has now been substituted with natural red clay base or even mere earth-colored paint. Further, in current day paintings,  we see just one scene or two or a repetition of Warli motifs. In this piece I was able to count groups set in over one dozen different scenes.

More images on wovensouls.com

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Surprisingly, the same iconic style is also seen at the eastern end of the country in Orissa:

Wall panels from ODisha:

worship-folk-art-201301-orissa-1586worship-folk-art-201301-orissa-2140worship-folk-art-201301-orissa-2146

How did this migration of memes across roughly 1500 km come about?

No idea – will explore this mystery soon.

jm

may 2016

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3 comments on “Daily Art Fix – Warli Paintings on Dung

  1. Sadaf Zia
    November 7, 2016

    I have learnt so much from your art notes. thanks for the good work.

  2. Tarini Kedar Gidh
    February 13, 2017

    The work is Beautiful n so picture perfect …. I wanted to knw if warli is painted on cow dung layer will it chip off after years ?

  3. wovensouls
    February 16, 2017

    I’ve had it for over 10 years but it hasn’t shown any signs of crackling / chipping. They probably add something to it to make it durable.

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