Art reflects the aesthetic sense of human beings and it is a product of human culture. India is an ancient multicultural country. Therefore, this country is a unique combination of diverse folk art, which varies from region to region. Folk art is a mirror of the folk cultural traditions of any region or place.
The traditional arts, which have been passed on from generation to generation among the castes and tribes of any region or place, are called folk arts. In a country like India, folk art can be seen in different forms in different provinces. Which is known by various names, which are discussed below.
1. Madhubani painting
It is the main painting of Mithilanchal region and it is named after the Madhubani district of Bihar. It is also famous in other cities of Bihar like Darbhanga, and some areas of Nepal. Jitwarpur village of Madhubani district is the main center of this folk painting. Initially, this painting developed in the form of Rangoli, then later this art gradually came in modern form on clothes, walls and paper. Men have also adopted this domestic painting started by the women of Mithila.
In this painting, especially the family deity is also depicted. Pictures of Hindu gods and goddesses, natural scenes like sun and moon, religious trees and plants like “tulsi” and wedding scenes will be seen. There are two types of Madhubani paintings which are known as “aripan” and “alpana”.
There is also a tradition of drawing these paintings only at three special places in the house, such as the place of worship, the Kohbar room (in the room of the married couple) and on the outer walls of the house on the occasion of marriage or at the time of any special celebration. The deities depicted in Madhubani paintings are Goddess Durga, Goddess Kali, Sita-Rama, Radha-Krishna, Shiva-Parvati, Gauri-Ganesh and ten incarnations of God Vishnu etc. Apart from these pictures of many natural and beautiful scenes are also depicted. Mahasundari Devi is a famous artist of Madhubani painting.
2. Pattachitra Art
The literal meaning of ‘Patta’ is ‘cloth’. This is a folk painting of Odisha. The painting depicts scenes primarily from the life of Lord Krishna, and his mythical stories which are related to Subhadra, Balarama, Lord Jagannath, and Dashavatar.
3. Kalamkari painting
The literal meaning of ‘Kalamkari’ is paintings made with ‘kalam‘ aka ‘pen’. It is one of the most popular folk arts of India. Kalamkari is a type of handicraft in which hand prints are made on cotton cloth with colored blocks. The word pen is used for both art and made clothes. Mainly this art is prevalent in Machilipatnam and in Krishna district of Andhra Pradesh state of India. Now-a-days, these Kalamkari printed clothes are gaining popularity both among men and women.
4. Kalighat Painting
The origin of this painting is believed to be in the Kalighat temple of Kolkata in the 19th century. In this painting, mainly depictions of Hindu gods and goddesses and characters of traditional legends at that time are mainly seen. In ancient times, the painters of this art used to tell stories to the people through this art depicting various gods and goddesses. In this style of painting, the painters depict scenes based on Ramayana, Mahabharata and other legends in long papers and express and explain that depiction.
5. Warli painting
The name of this painting is related to a small tribal group living in the tribal region of Maharashtra. These ornate paintings are made on the floors and walls of tribal houses and places of worship of Gonds and Kols. Trees, birds, male and female together complete a Warli picture. These paintings are made on auspicious occasions by tribal women as a part of their daily routine. The subject matter of these paintings is mainly religious and they are made using simple and local objects like rice paste and gum of local vegetables and the figures made in these paintings are in the form of geometrical shapes like square, triangular and circular etc. on a different coloured background. Animals, birds and the daily life of people are also partly part of the content of the paintings. The pictures are expanded by adding other subjects in the form of a series.
The tableau of Warli lifestyle is beautifully presented in simple figures. Unlike other tribal art forms, Warli painting does not favor religious images and thus presents a more secular look.