News Karnataka
Wednesday, February 28 2024
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Gond Art: Finest tribal art form of India

painting
Photo Credit : Twitter

India is a subcontinent with deep-rooted cultures and traditions. The folklore goes back hundreds of years. Although with rapid urbanisation the traditional way of life is gradually losing its lustre, the art form still remains with local artisans struggling each day to keep their inherited craft alive. One such interesting art form is India’s Gond Tribal Art. Gond Art is a unique form of art that was carried on by the Gonds – one of the largest tribes in Central India, especially in the state of Madhya Pradesh. Gond Art is one of the oldest tribal arts that truly encapsulates the essence of tribal art in India.

The vibrant, imaginative, and mystical Gond Art was started by the Gond tribe as a favourite pastime and the paintings were typically done on the walls of their homes, which echoed the customs of their ancestors who dwelled in caves and who were primarily forbearers. These paintings depicted the lifestyle and beliefs of the Gond tribe. Similar to other tribal art, Gond Art illustrates folk tales and culture vividly. The paintings that were usually done on the walls of their homes portray their beliefs, surrounding & faiths.

While other paintings which were carefully painted on the walls of other places of public gatherings, like shops or small schools depicted the roots of the Gond Tribe – and outlined the local flora, fauna, celebrations, festivals, deities of worship, folk myths and tales and so on. Thus, storytelling is a very strong element in Gond Art.

Gond Art is also believed to bring fortune. This belief stems from the faith that a beautiful Gond Art brings good luck and wards off evil. The Gond Art is also primarily characterized by the imaginative use of lines and dots which brings a sense of balance and symmetry into the paintings. The resulting paintings are bright, vibrant and colourful, generally painted using natural colours that are derived from charcoal, cow dung, leaves, flowers, and plant saps.

The elements of Gond Art Paintings still remain the same, with artists trying to cover the aspects of the lifestyle of a typical Gond Tribal family. Today, Gond Art is recognised as one of the most popular and rather unusual forms of Tribal Art, making its way into Tribal handicrafts of India that have high artistic value.

The bright and cheerful outlook of the paintings makes them interesting pieces of art. However, the colours used by modern-day Gond Artists are synthesised with chemicals to bring more variety to the paintings and also owing to the unavailability of natural colours today. The aesthetic, traditional and mysterious Gond Art brings to life the very soul of the Gond Tribe back to life – reflecting India’s rich artistic heritage at its best!

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Raksha Deshpande

The author is a postgraduate in Mass Communication and Journalism from Karnataka University, Dharwad. Her interests range from literature, history, travel to politics, and is keenly interested to write human interest stories and articles relating to literature, travel.

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