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Fundació ADA per al Desenvolupament dels Adivasis

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Warli Art

The Warli painting is the artistic expression of the "Warli" a tribe of the Adivasi people who are from the Thane district North of Mumbai.

This form of expression is as ancient as the tribe itself. The paintings are created and associated to the tribe's nuptial rituals and fertility. It is applied to the wall of the house where a new couple will live and it is usually done by married women. Now, it also has become an instrument of dialog and awareness of the tribe's plight, regarding social and environmental changes that surround them and are altering their lives.The painting materials come from Nature, such as the semolina rice and dirt mixed with manure. The brushes are made from chewed bamboo branches.

Every single detail of the paintings is significant. They tell us about their lives, their environment, their resources, health, family, animals, rituals and the cosmic vision.

Now, it also has become an instrument of dialog and awareness of the tribe's plight, regarding social and environmental changes that surround them and are altering their lives. For the Warli, the paintings are a cultural manifestation and a cry for attention to their problems. It is the language of images the Adivasis have used to express themselves for centuries, and the one with which they identify themselves. This art is a crucial part of the tribal culture and its vision of the cosmos.

Currently ADA supports a cooperation project, promoting the maintenance and teachings of the Warli Art among Adivasi school children. This is a way to preserve the cultural traditions, and expose the tribe to new commercial means through this form of expression.