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Art Terms

Warli Painting

Village Festival depicted in While Lines

The Warli is an ethnic group numbering around 40,000 in the Thane region of Maharashtra state in India and known for their wall painting. Based on an animist belief in spirits being part of all natural things, the Warli paint on the walls of their houses for special occasions such as weddings or festivals. Using simplified linear forms and patterns to represent the life of the village, the large paintings are made in pure white using rice water on reddish soil backgrounds and create a sense of community celebration. As with Mithila paintings, the Indian government recognizes its value and appeal, and Warli paintings are now produced on paper for sale and have become better known overseas. Unlike the Mithila paintings, Warli men traditionally undertake the work, including Jivya Soma Mashe (1934–2018) as the most well-known artist.


Jivya Soma Mashe "Tarpa Dance" 1998 rice juice on paraconcrete wall

Sadashiv Jivya Mashe "Goddess Jivadani" 1994 rice juice on paraconcrete wall

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