\u00a0\n\nI was in Orissa in January and the month of May is about to end, and yet the tribal life that I experienced there remains unshared on this blog.\nWas it tardiness or was I too busy?\nIt took only 20 seconds of reflection to note the obvious answer to this question.\nTribal life in Orissa had delighted me totally! There was so much that I got out of that trip that every time I sat down to formulate my thoughts, I found it\u00a0 hard to compress all the narrative and the visuals into a sequentially written article.\u00a0\u00a0 In order to do justice, I thought I would need a long undisturbed week to remember,\u00a0 re-live & recreate the atmosphere & the experience. And so I kept delaying it. Until I reached a point where I was beginning to forget the sights and smells and the thrills of seeing that old world.\nI now realise that complete justice to that experience is not going to be possible ever.\nAnd so I am writing this in the best way I can \u2013 using loads of images to convey everything.\nThe experience was very very subtle \u2013 like the curls of smoke from incense. Hard to capture.\nIn that sense, the Orissa trip was like the Arunachal Pradesh trip \u2013 everything is muted \u2013 and the experience really needs to be sought out and tweaked out with sensitivity and alertness. It doesn\u2019t come at you in your face and if one is not alert it is easy to miss the beautiful things.\nIn this article I have included a kaleidoscope of tribal portraits and their lifestyle, their gorgeous home-art and their worship-art all in one because one can only be comprehended completely if presented alongside the other.\nPresented below are the costumes, the jewelry, the art and the dances of the beautiful, innocent and wonderful tribals of Orissa!\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\nDisplay of medicinal roots by a forest-dwelling nomadic tribal\n\nNote the thatched leaf hut that is his home (above)\n\nForest dwelling nomadic tribal making rope out of vines\n\n\n\n\nA lady using the grinding stone to grind grain manually. (Even I\u00a0 have used this as a child!)\nNote that the ground of her hut is layered with cow dung \u2013 a common material for floors & walls.\n\nHandloom weaving\n\n\nThe band on the top left corner of this picture is used as a skirt by one of the tribes.\n\n\nThe gorgeous Kondh embroidery!\n\n\n\nDongria Kondh dance\n\n\nWeaving using straw\n\n\n\nWovens baskets \u2026.. in Assam I saw men doing this work \u2026 here women join in as well.\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\nThis stunning girl became my friend over the few days in which we shared our lives\n\n\n\nWorship spaces consist of a holy stone that has been decorated with flowers and leaves. There is a Hindu influence but most seem to have an animistic ideology that is distinct and unique. Roosters are sacrificed to the almighty at specific festivals.\u00a0 The images below show the gods / shrines used by the different tribes.\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\nThis is the seat of penance / retribution \u2026. when someone commits a moral crime, and seeks forgiveness, this board with nails must be sat upon while asking for forgiveness.\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\nThe homes of the tribals are made of basic materials and have very little in terms of furniture and other possessions. They are frugal in the economic sense \u2013 but as can be seen below, in the artistic sense their homes are extravagant! Each family creats its own artwork in a style that is common & unique to the tribe. The extravagance of art on these walls is enviable!\u00a0 This is a prime example of folk art that is thriving in a belt that continues to live in the glorious past undiluted by the influence of homogenising media. A glimpse below:\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\nBelow are examples of wall art from Odisha in eastern India that are EXACTLY LIKE Warli art of a tribe in Maharashtra in Western India.\u00a0 I have not educated myself yet on the rasons for this commonality, but it certainly suggests a some migration and common origin.\n \n\n\nThis is one more place I will return to. For its innocence, for its beautiful life that is firmly placed in the past even now.\u00a0 That such a world offering \u2018time travel\u2019 exists is a marvel and deserves to be visited again and again and again.\nMore stories from Odisha \njm\nMay 2013\nThe post Tribal Life in Orissa \u2013 a tribute! appeared first on The Art Blog by WOVENSOULS.COM.