7 lesser-known Indian folk art forms

India is a land of rich cultural heritage and there are varying forms of folk arts as well. These folk arts are an embodiment of different cultures within the country and each one is different and unique from the rest. Every state has its own art form and they are all beautiful and breathtaking. These arts have been on the decline, some time back, but thanks to the rising interest of people again in local arts, they have been thriving. Some of the several folk art forms  present in India are-

  • Warli Art-

Warli art is indigenous to the natives of tribal areas of Thane and Nashik situated in Maharashtra, which involves wall painting created by the women of Warli, Malkhar kholi, Dhodi, Kathodi and Kokana. These tribes are residents of the northern outskirts of Mumbai, mainly in Western India. Found embossed on the mud walls of the local houses this art was first founded in the early seventies. The Warli art depicts instances of social life and not from any Indian epic.

  • Madhubani Art-

Madhubani art is mainly practised in Northern India in the state of Bihar and the Mithila region of Nepal. The paintings are mainly done with nib-pens, twigs, brushes and even fingers and sometimes matchsticks. Again the art is mostly practised by the women of the regions and has been practised for centuries. The paintings have a unique geometrical pattern in them.

  • Chittara Art-

Chittara art form is followed and practised by a community named Deewaru in the Shimoga, Uttar Kannada and Sagara districts of Karnataka. The walls of the houses are covered in red mud and upon the mud white paintings are drawn beautifully with rice paste and white mud. Like all other folk arts, the materials used are completely natural including barks of trees, seeds, coal, rice flour and berries to name a few. A special kind of brush made with natural fibres and grass straw is used to draw on the walls, frames of doors, window frames and floors.

  • Pata Chitra-

Pata Chitra is a type of folk art largely followed in many states like Orissa and West Bengal. The Bengal version of the art is called Pata Chitra and the paintings have an identifying feature having very vibrant colours. The colours were extracted from spices, soot, earth, flowers and a variety of other natural things. The art depicted retrograde social practices to prevent people from doing it. Developed hundreds of years before, the art is synonymous with the time when vagabond minstrels used to tread the state singing about life and struggles.

  • Gond Art-

Gond art is a type of Indian folk art that is primarily based in the tribal regions belonging to the central India. The art is inspired by the surrounding where the Gond folks live and the paintings depict rivers, hills, streams and forests. Made on the walls, ceilings and floor during the time of customs and festivals, the Gond art demands attention. What is special is the fact that the paintings are made with a series of dots and dashes arranged beautifully into patterns and pictures. The art form is similar to the culture of tattooing which is largely prevalent among them today.

  • Kalamkari Art-

Kalam in Hindi means pen, and Kari denotes work. This art is done with fine bamboo pens made by the artists themselves. This unique style of painting was developed in Kalahasti near Chennai and Masulipatnam near Hyderabad. Kalamkari flourished during the Maratha rule and some paintings have Persian influences as well. Vegetable inks are the most widely used source of paints. A recent style called Karuppur has the fabric enhanced with golden brocade and is meant for royal families.

  • Rajasthani Miniature Painting-

Though introduced by the Mughals, the delicate art of miniature painting acquired its own form in Rajasthan. This art has its strong presence in the areas of Mewar(Udaipur), Kotah, Bundi, Jaipur and Kishangarh. Drawn on paper, ivory, marbles, leather, walls, wooden tables, floors and leather this folk art form uses unique exaggerated features. These include large eyes which are almond-shaped, long fingers and long necks. Originally from Persia and carried by the Mughal invaders this painting now possesses strong traits from the areas in Rajasthan where it belongs.

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