The Gonds are the largest tribal community in India. Their population is generally concentrated in the central parts of India. Gonds are spread in the states of Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh, Orissa and Maharashtra. They are known for their culture and tradition.
India’s Gond Painting
Gond painting is one of the part of their rich culture and tradition. While Gond paintings are considered to be predominantly from Madhya Pradesh, it is also quite common in Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Chhatisgarh and Odisha. Gond art is so popular nationally that Indian government have decided to preserve these art form and have launched many programs and missions for it.
Historical Background –
Gond painting is an art form which dates back to the Mesolithic period. It is said that these techniques of Gond Painting are nearly 1400 years old. In the Mesolithic period, ancestors of Gond peoples used to draw these form of paintings in caves. Gond people have a keen interest in art which is a reason that they decorate their houses with tattoos and paintings. Gond painting has also been used as a tool to preserve the history, culture and traditions of Gonds.
The objects used in Paintings –
The Gond paintings generally consist of natural elements like hill, river, rock, tree, animals, certain Hindu gods. The main reason behind painting these elements is their belief that these all-natural elements haves a spirit and should be worshiped. However, the main object in most of the Gond paintings is natural elements, but some of the paintings are also inspired by myths and folk stories. The paintings also show concepts like emotions, dramas, imagination.
Style of painting –
The style of gond paintings can be described as a “beautiful line work”. The lines in the paintings create an immediate effect and they also bring a sense of movements in the painting. Dots and dashes are added to provide great details in the paintings.
Another important feature of Gond paintings is the use of vivid colours. A lot of colours like white, red, blue, and yellow can be seen in Gond paintings. The most important thing about the painting is that all the colours used in the painting are natural. They are made by natural items like soil, different plants, leaves, charcoal and even cow dung. Many colours are also derived from flowers.
Modern Innovations in this painting –
Today’s Modern Gond paintings are not painted on walls or floors but are painted on canvas. This makes it easier to transport and makes them commercially important. Modern innovations in the Gond paintings have made them so popular that they are also exported to Foreign countries where they are sold for a high amount of money. Modern Gond art is much more different from the traditional one. Even the colours which are used are not natural today. Most of the artists use poster colours to draw Gond paintings.
Interesting Facts –
- a) The Painting work in Gond communities is done by special peoples who are called Pardhan Gonds.
- b) Gond Paintings are now used as showpieces in the houses and they are popularly drawn during festivals like Holi, Diwali etc.
- c) Gond paintings are of such good quality that it isn’t uncommon for them to last 20 years or so, without any external tampering.
- d) The features between Gond painting and the aboriginal art from Australia are very common.
- e) Today Gond painting is done on a variety of items like boxes, wooden trays, doors and windows etc.
Global influences –
Looking at the popularity of Gond painting, Indian Government have tried to promote it through various programs and missions. Gond painting is not only popular in India, but have also gained popularity outside India. There have been exhibitions of Gond paintings in many parts of the world, especially in Japan. Today Gond paintings are sold for a huge amount of money which ranges between INR 2,000/- and INR 2,50,000/-
Gond art is not only a representation of the culture and tradition of Gond people. But it has also become a source of Income for them due to its growing popularity. Gond painting is not only famous in India and but has become globally famous now. The modern form of Gond painting is much different from its traditional form. Gond paintings depict natural elements in a beautiful manner.
Colors in the Gond paintings were made naturally but now with the modern scenario of painting, painters also use artificial paints. Concluding all the points we can say that Gond painting is one more example of the rich tribal culture of India. Today gond paintings also commercially important and can be used as a form of income by the tribal peoples and other artists of India.