Tribal Paintings are drawn by the ethnic human tribes of India. These tribal paintings have been taught by one generation to another depicting human cycles and the core of our existence. The main theme of tribal paintings in India is our life cycles of birth, death, marriage, farming, celebration, harvest and five basic elements of Mother Earth.
Tribal Paintings when gifted need some thinking though as not only your viewpoint is reflected but at the same time it should connect with the receiver's way of life and personality. When such judgment strikes a perfect balance, the tribal painting gift has achieve its purpose.
Indian tribal paintings differ from region to region and style to style. Some of the prominent tribal paintings which are mostly available today are:-
As one of the oldest Indian tribes, Saura paintings are called 'ikon' as they have a symbolic meaning to them. They are painted on walls and with figures of human beings, sun, moon, elephants and horses. They are of religious importance too. The Saura painting of Orissa are done by the 'Sauras', and is one of the important paintings of the eastern zone.
This tribal art is very much predominant in the Western states of Gujarat and Maharashtra.
It is a very much unique form of expression of life principles with the basic themes such agricultural activity, hunting, celebration, that too on mud walls of huts and homes, The distinct characteristic of this art is use of geometric patterns for symbolizing trees, creepers, animals, birds and even human beings.
The states of Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat worship a wedding deity called 'Pithora' whose images are painted on house walls on certain occasions such as weddings. Pithora paintings are the ones which thus considered as auspicious and bring good luck and success to the family as well as the function
Predominately the Pichhwai painting adorns Vaishnav temples in Rajasthan and other states of North India too. They are made on cloth using dark and primary colors. The Pichhwai paintings adorn the walls behind the statue of Lord Krishna in most of the temples.
The main theme of these painting is to show the various moods and dresses of Lord Krishna at different occasions and festivals.
Another most amazing Indian tribal art of eastern zone is called the Santhal Painting which is portrayed by Santhal tribes which is located in Bihar, Orissa and West Bengal.Bihar is the home of Santhal paintings as Santhal tribes reside here. The main themes of Santhal paintings are usually spread over rituals and celebrations such as dance, harvest, merry making, family functions and of course many Hindu deities too.
The Saura paintings involve sublime portraiture of human being, horse, elephant and also Sun with symbolic meanings behind each. They are generally being painted to appease the Gods and ancestors. These paintings are very much famous and unique for their elegance, charm, iconography, aesthetic and ritualistic association. This form of Tribal art is mostly found in Rayagada district, Gajapati district and Koraput of Orissa.
The Santhal painting is painted with freehand and reflects the perceptions of life. This painting possess the simplest themes which are like harvest, field, happy family, dance, beating wife, quarrel, wine party, gods and goddess on the canvas. They are mostly done on a handmade paper with poster colours.
The Khovar and Sohrai paintings occupy a very significant part in the tribal art of India. Khovar is the mural art form which is being practiced by tribal women artists during the marriage season from January to June. The term Khovar is a popular term for the painted rock art caves across India.