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                                                  Tribal Art

        The tribal art seems to have their roots in their rock shelters ancestors. Art of drawing  invented by primitive man who by chance discovered the art of drawing by making images on sand. Once discovered the tradition of creativeness continued through generation of artists. Folk art’s origin goes back to the art of survival of Indian tribal societies and art of agricultural communities. The tribal had lived many centuries before the first urban civilization flourished on the bank of river Indus in 3rd millennium BC. The relationship between these people and inhabitants of the cities of Indus Civilisation is not clear. The presence of the tribal in that culture can be inferred from the impressive figurine of a dancing girl, representing an aboriginies. Her skillfully rendered face reveals large eyes, flat nose, and bunched curly hair. Proud and confident in her bearing, she is wearing several bangles on her arms. The modeling of the figure especially in tubular limbs, corresponds to images currently being fashioned in rural and tribal.

           Tribal art is a rich and unbroken tradition spanning thousands of years. All over the world tribal usually decorate their surroundings.  Tribal way of life sumbolises the early strata in the evolution of the human culture. Tribal people provide us with a unique opportunity to see how human unaffected by bookish knowledge, training and conditioning perceive and relate to the world around them. The imaginative faculties and emotion states of the tribal are rich and complex. Their myths and customs derive their validity as well as their vitality from the past stored in collective subconscious of the community to people, animal, plants, gods, demons and other elements. Many tribes have managed to live in splendid isolation preserving and preserving with their own rituals and magic and collective tribal consciousness, at least until this century in remote jungles without much contact with the outside world or benefit of written material. Most tribal customs and rituals are existed centuries before when Hindu and Vedic influence spread through the century. People in settled villages quickly absorbed the new religion into their repertoire and art. Tribal in remote jungles often were less affected. Ancient rock paintings and carving in Bhimbhedka, Raisen and other locations are also found in many tribal paintings.

        The uniqueness and special qualities of tribal paintings arise out of their isolation from external material. Isolation also resulted in variations in their methods and techniques of paintings, idioms used and use of colours meaning attributed to them. Many tribes have managed to live in splendid isolation preserving and with their own ritual magic, yantras, tantras and collective tribal consciousness, at least till this century.  The uniqueness and special qualities of tribal paintings arise out of their isolation from external influences.  Their own world view based on the tribal consciousness shared by that particular group. Tribal art provides us with a unique opportunity to see how people unaffected by civilization perceive and relate to the world around them.

           Tribal paintings executed by simple illustrate people, steeped in legends rituals and magic with no special training in art, are the outcome of the tribal life style and form part of their living process itself.  Paintings is incidental to the community activity of which they are a part or the religious festival they celebrate. Tribal communities like the rural folk, use art, especially paintings, to celebrate festivals, harvests or hunts to mark rites of passage, religious rituals, to ward off evil spirits or to drive magical powers.

              At the first sight mural decoration is decorative but this has two aspect –firstly decorative , secondly establishment of god, goddesses and religious and magical motifs. In the decorative aspect patterns are based on simple geometric forms such as circles, triangles, dots, crosses, parallel lines- symmetrically arranged and wavy lines. In the drawing of wall decoration the animals and birds to some extent are naturalistic and are depicted frequently. The most common animals are deer, rabbits, lion, elephant, peapock, bull, snake etc. Human figures are drawn without details, either rising their hands, dancing and doing some action. Faces are generally round. Other important decorative forms are sun, moon, aeroplane, plough, and many others.

          But some of the Hindu deities such as  Hanuman, Rama, Lakshman, Radha and Krishna, Ganesh , Durga etc are also found at certain places in naturalistic style by some of the skilled hands.

Among the tribal people of India Gond, Santhal and Bhils are the most numerous groups. They were in India since time immemorial. Tribal do not always line as isolate group, they have intermingled with other communities and imbibed many customs from others. The tribal art has been manifested in four ways: 

  1. through wall decoration
    1. Decorative
    2. Ritualistic
  2. through alpana designs
  3. through door decoration
  4. through scroll paintings