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Home >> Popular Painting Styles >> Tribal Art

Tribal Art

Traditional art of the indigenous people of the Americas, Africa, India, Indonesia, and Polynesia, is what we know as Tribal Art.

The philosophy of a way of life, especially those of tribal societies, is best depicted through colorful images. Trees, birds, men and women collaborate to create a composite whole in Tribal Paintings.

While the Warli Paintings of India capture the whims and moods of tribal lifeand are much more than designs on wall, they are authentic depictions of a way of life, the African Zulu Paintings show African people doing their daily chores in thin stick like figures.

Warli Paintings

The Warlis are a tribal society of Maharashtra, they inhabit hamlets of thatched mud-huts. They are primarily an agriculture dependant tribe. Historians say that the Warli tradition can be traced to the Neolithic period between 2,500 BC and 3,000 BC. During the harvest season, and weddings and births, their houses are adorned with a vocabulary of patterns; this custom gave rise to what we now know as the Warli Paintings.

Warli Paintings are characterized by the minimalistic style employed to say the profoundest things. The use of color is restricted to a stark white against earthen backgrounds. Geometric designs dominate most paintings; dots and crooked lines are the units of these compositions. The appeal of these unicolor compositions lies in their lack of pretentiousness in conveying the profound.

Zulu Paintings

Paintings of the Zulu tribe was for many years overlooked and dismissed as trivial doodling, as the Zulu people did not take efforts to give it a structural definition. Rather, it was a very functional art; it was seen as an embellishment of utensils used in the home such as carved wooden meatplatters, milkpails, spoons, walking sticks and headrests. But what one canít miss when one observes these delightful specimens is the fact that Zulus have an intrinsic sense of geometry. Patterns of lines and circles dominate most artworks. The patterns are usually related to some notion of masculinity, femininity, fertility or cattle.

Aborigine Paintings

Aborigines are indigenous inhabitants of the continent of Australia, who migrated to this region from South Asia about 40000 years ago Just like the many languages, Aboriginal art varies from place to place, from the cross hatching style on bark in Arnhem land to the contemporary dot painting on canvas in the western desert. Aboriginal people traditionally used the materials available to them to depict their way of life. As a result, art forms varied in different areas of Australia. In the central desert, ground drawing was a very important style of art and throughout Australia rock art as well as body painting and decoration were common although varying in styles, method, materials and meaning.

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