The Tribal Art of India: Gond Painting

1 comment

India is a nation that is recognized worldwide after its unique and diverse cultures and customs that came into existence more than 10000 years ago. The origin and history of existing cultures were depicted with the discovery of varied types of tribal arts. Among the variety of tribal arts discovered, Gond Tribal Art includes folk dances and songs and Gond Paintings. Gond painting is one of the famous arts in Central India, representing the Gond Tribal Community's Folk Art. These paintings can be commonly found on the household walls, including pictures of trees, plants, or animals.


History and Origin of Gond Painting

As the name suggests, Gond painting came into existence after the origin of the Gond people, which is currently the largest Adivasi Community in India. Gond is also known as Koi or Koiture, and the people of this tribe belong to the pre-Aryan era. During the 14th century, in central India, Gonds were the ruling class. They ruled their areas until the Mughals conquered their kingdoms, and so, they had to leave their places and shift to thick jungles where no one could find them. At that time, they formed the Gond Tribe. From the historical period, the Gond Tribe had a deep connection with their ancestors and mother nature. So, to keep their history intact and close to their heart, the Gond people started to create paintings that defined their past. After all, every painting depicts some story and deep meaning. Usually, the paintings contained flora and fauna, but other times, they included the depictions of God – Marahi Devi and Phulvari Devi.

In Gond pictures, the deep purpose behind creating and keeping it was that such images bring good luck. So, people, especially women, started painting Gond paintings, i.e., motifs and traditional tattoos on the walls and floors of their households. Even the male section of the house also participated in creating paintings. While painting, they always used bright natural colours such as red, white, blue, and yellow. They derived these colours from natural resources such as mud, charcoal, leaves, plant sap, cow dung, and many more. The yellow colour they used was gained from local sand named ‘Chui mitti, the brown colour from another sand named 'gheru mitti.' And, they derived the other vibrant colours from the available flora and nature surrounding them.

In the 1980s, beautiful Gond paintings unfolded before the world, gained recognition before others, and became a source of livelihood for the tribal people soon. 


Inspiration of Gond Painting: Tribal Art

Just like Gond paintings include animals, plants, and trees, it defines a genuine connection of man with nature and its surroundings. It is believed that nature has its spirit and is thus sacred, which needs to be respected and loved. Therefore, when seen in the Gond paintings, all the inspirations have been taken from the idea of loving nature and finding a soul connection between the two pure auras of nature and humans. After the Gond people have spent their entire lives living amid nature for more than 5 centuries, apart from it, the Gond paintings also include India's legends, a few myths, dreams, Gods, and images defining people's lives and existence.

 Image Source:

Process of Gond Art Painting

Gond painting is a special kind of painting that is done in a specific geometric pattern using lines. Lines play an essential role in this Gond art as it has the power to showcase life to the still images, with the help of dots and dashes. As in art, small details matter a lot. Similarly, in Gond painting, small particulars instil colours life in the paintings. These paintings become more prosperous after using bright natural colours such as red, blue, yellow, and white. However, due to scarcity of resources such as cow dung, flowers, or coloured soil, which was the primary source of natural paints, painters and artists have now started to use poster colours. But, to date, the Gond people making Gond art paintings are considered to have God's blessings for inheriting the skills and creativity from generation to generation. They can perfectly depict the bond of humans with mother nature in just spiral forms, which is indeed unique.

 Image Source:

Gond Painting: Themes And Designs

The Almighty, nature, and rich culture have always defined the theme and designs in Gond painting. Usually, Gond images include the following themes.

  •       Images of the widely witnessed flora and fauna include snakes, peacocks, leaves, mahua trees, flowers, bears, mythical beasts, fruits.
  •       Technological design of the modern availability that includes bicycle, aeroplanes instil colours cars.
  •       Hindu Mythological Gods such as Kali, Shiva, Ganesha.

Gond artists always believed in defining nature's beauty and worth in their paintings because they knew from the olden times that nature and man have a significant connection to life and are worthy of being known by all.

 Image Source:

Gond Painting Signature Patterns and Styles

Nature's elements combined with repeating patterns are among the highly recognized features concerned with a definite Gond art. Gond art painting uses signature patterns repeated continuously in a specific style and in regular intervals to fill the image with a new life and meaning. These patterns have been derived naturally from the surroundings, forests, and farms. For the Gond people, creativity can be found anywhere. They consider that the art is in the nature around them and, consequently, their art.

Image Source:

As it can be seen, in the Gond paintings, there is the use of only one detailed design that highlights better creativity. Still, now it can be seen that more than one pattern is being used in a single image which defines the true nature and inspiration of this tribal painting.

Different pattern styles that the artists usually use in their Gond paintings are the following.

  •       Water Drops
  •       Lines (including curves)
  •       Dots
  •       Geometrical Patterns and Shapes
  •       Fish Scales 

In the Gond artworks to be seen at the households, you can witness the mentioned pattern styles. These patterns are used in filling life to the paintings done on the walls or floors. However, more designs are now used to enhance the creativity of the picture and its art when it comes to a higher or artistic level painting. ExclusiveLane brings an amazing range of artwork with beautiful peacock boulevard products, spice boxes, coasters etc.

1 comment

  • Penkraft| Learn Online & Become Penkraft Certified Teacher- Gond Art

    With Penkraft, Learn From Online Teacher Training course – Gond Art and Become a Penkraft Certified Teacher with 24 X 7 X 365 marketing support. Work from home.

Leave a comment

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.