Warli paintings are the tribal wall paintings of the warli tribes of
Maharashtra. Warlis are the largest tribes of Maharashtra live in northern outskirts of Mumbai.
Womenfolks mainly do the paintings on the mud walls of the houses.
Warli painting, which is compared similar to the famous Madhubabi paintings of Bihar, is traced back to 10th century A.D. But it was first discovered only in the early seventies.
Warli paintings generally depict the normal life like images of human beings and animals, along with scenes from daily life. They also depict hunting, dancing, sowing and harvesting scenes. White is the only
colour used in creating these paintings, with occasional dots in red and yellow. This colour is prepared by grounding rice into white powder.
These themes are highly repetitive and symbolic. Many of the Warli paintings that represent Palghat, the
marriage god, often include a horse used by the bride and groom. The horse is symbolic of something that this
poor community can ill-afford. The painting is sacred and without it, the marriage cannot take place.
These paintings also serve social and religious aspirations of the local people. It is believed that these paintings invoke powers of the Gods. In
Warli paintings it is rare to see a straight line. A series of dots and dashes make one line. The artists have recently started to draw straight lines in their paintings.
These days, even young men have taken to painting and they are often done on paper incorporating traditional decorative
Warli motifs with modern essentials such as the bicycle, etc.
Warli paintings on paper have become very well-liked and are now sold all over India. Today they are provided into a profitable service when the Indian Handicrafts and Handlooms Board provided the poor
Warlis with brown paper and white paint.