WARLI

An art form existent along the southwestern fringes of the country along the North Sahayadri range in Maharashtra, the Warli is an age-old tribal art that is believed to have originated in the 10th century A.D. among the Warli tribe. At present, it is predominantly found in the cities of Dahanu, Talasari, Palghar and Vikramgad in Maharashtra among the tribal members. Warli art gained immense popularity thanks to the talented works of Thane artist Jivya Somya Mashe and son Balu Mashe in the 1970s. In spite of the rudimentary components used to make Warli art, which consists of red ochre backgrounds of tribal hut walls made of red bricks and branches and white pigments made of rice paste and water with an additive gum, the subject and philosophy behind the art form carry immense gravity.

A folk style painting, the Warli art is about the intricate relationship between man and nature. Concepts include Mother Nature and communal lifestyles, with a variety of geometric shapes—triangles, circles, squares—where the central motif is a square called Shaukat or Chauk (Devchauk and Lagnachauk). Circles are used to denote the sun and the moon while triangles symbolize trees, mountains and men. Square shapes are used to denote a stretch of land. The subject matter of Warli is mainly community activities like fishing, hunting, farming, dancing etc. Inverted triangles meeting at a single point are used to denote man and animals and certain variations of their sizes and postures are made to differentiate between male and female figures. Warli is an exemplary icon of art born from simplicity.

Voylla, in homage to this art, has designed a range of Warli-inspired jewellery that consists of earrings and rings that use moulded silver that has been structured to replicate the typical Warli figures that encircle a mounted stone or coloured patterns embossed on silver ball bearings.

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