The Warlis are an indigenous Tribe of people who have lived in the Thane District of Maharashtra for centuries. They were originally hunters but with deforestation & access denied to the existing forests. Warli is derived from the word “Waral” which means a small piece of tilled land. They speak an unwritten language which consists of Sanskrit, Marathi, Gujarati dialects. The Warlis are well known today amongst elite circles for their unique form of decorative art.
Warli is the vivid expression of daily and social events of the Warli tribe of Maharashtra, used by them to decorate the walls of village houses. This was the only means of transmitting folklore to others who are not acquainted with the written word. The warli painting depicts their social, economical, cultural, spiritual and cosmological perspective. One of the main themes that occur in their paintings is that of people dancing in spirals & open-ended circles. All their stories, with its various moods & nuances are expressed with just two basic colours – the brown of the earth & the white of the rice paste.
• Visual World of Warli - Pdf