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Daily Art Fix – Warli Paintings on Dung

May 10, 2016 1 min read

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


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

Wall panels from ODisha:


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

No idea – will explore this mystery soon.


may 2016


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