Traditional Paintings Of Madhubani And Warli

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Why The Rich Traditional Paintings Of Madhubani And Warli Are Still Popular Today



Many of the painting styles in India represent periods of time for certain cultures of the many different ethnic groups that inhabit the country. In every community there are a percentage of inspired people that paint as a profession and also a passion as well. Even though, as time goes on, there are new techniques, innovations and materials that can be used to make a more enriched painting, the customary traditions linger on in the work. Painting in India has been practiced since before recorded history, with many of the original paintings still being preserved in caves, on sculptured rocks and other historic locations.


Some Of The Rock Paintings Are Known To Be 7000 Years Old

Many of the cave paintings and rock paintings in the Bhimbekta area are considered to be the most archaic of Indian paintings that have been discovered so far. There are other paintings in Ajanta and Ellora that are considered of the same style, but more modern origins than the Bhimbekta paintings.

Paintings of this era are typically done very meticulously with a high degree a workmanship showing that the painter spent many days and weeks at their work. Some of the paintings depict idols of Hindu gods and goddesses while others are of mythical creatures from stories passed on through generations.

The typical Indian painting contains rich color schemes and have some special effects that are amazing for the time period. Some of the most popular paintings are the Madhubani paintings from the Mithila region of Bihar, Nepal, where women worked tirelessly near their rural homes carving in the mud walls that their homes are made of.

Some of the interesting facts about Madhubani paintings is that the work is done using many different types of tools including fingers, pens, matchsticks, twigs, leaves, and brushes to get the various desired strokes into the paint.

The paint itself can be made from natural pigments and dyes found in plants and minerals in the surrounding mountainous area, some of the black pigment used in many paintings comes from a mixture of cow dung and soot. The yellow color is typically made by using the spice turmeric commonly used to make curry. The style usually depicts many of the festivals that are held, marriage rituals, births of children, and the religious celebrations of Kali, Puja, Surya, and Sasti.


What Makes Madhubani So Popular Throughout The World

This particular style of painting is considered to be very unique in the world due to its special themes, brilliant colors and the fact that the art style has been handed down through generations of women all practicing this type of Indian folk art. Since nearly all of the materials are natural from the surrounding area the art can be considered very Eco friendly and green.


One Particular Type Of Madhubani painting Is Called Warli Painting

Warli Painting is almost always done at home, and usually depicts subjects concerning the daily life of the painter and the social events that they attend as part of their tribal heritage. The word ‘Warli’ translates to the phrase ‘piece of land’ and many paintings will be what many people consider landscape type paintings.

Many thousands of years ago the local villagers used this type of painting to decorate all of their walls, doors and even furniture with decorative painting, rather than having everything painted all one color. One of the common themes of these kinds of paintings are of human figures in rhythmic patterns as they go about their daily chores of planting, harvesting, drawing well water, and even dancing at the regular social functions in the village.

Some researchers have made associations between the geometric patterns used in Warli painting to depict such things as the sun, moon, trees and mountains with cave drawings in other parts of the world. The sun is normally depicted as a circle and so is the moon, while triangles are trees, squares are land, and larger triangles depict mountains.


While There Are Traditional Recipes For Pigments, Anything Available Will Do

A key point to make about the paints and colors used in Warli traditional paintings is that while henna, indigo, mud, cow dung, and charcoal are traditionally used throughout history, anytime an artist was lacking in a particular ingredient for a color, local materials were quite often substituted because of convenience and availability.

One sad point to note, is that many hundreds of thousands of these traditional paintings have been lost over the years because the substrate they were painted on, such as clay or mud walls, eventually gets washed away by the elements it has very little staying power.

If traditional Indian folk painting is of interest to you then you definitely should check out Warli Painting and Madhubani Painting on any visit to India or southern Nepal. The area is rich in culture and tradition, but as time goes on, those heritages are slowly being eroded away by modern technology and newer traditions imported from other parts of the country and the world.



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