Folk Arts of India

India has developed innumerable folk art traditions owing to its opulent history, sheer vastness, and variety in local culture.

The folk art traditions date back to the inception of the society. The diverse art forms that originated in locations across the Indian subcontinent began not only as paintings; but also as religious and cultural rituals. It started with decorating the mud hut walls and floors with simple designs and votive symbols. It was believed that the practise cleansed the environment and pleased the deities. As a result, several religious symbols are present within the artwork.

The paintings were used to decorate residences, illustrate gods, tell stories of heroism, and serve as historical and political documentation. The style of painting was determined by the availability of materials in their regions of practice. Artists used readily available materials like clothes for a canvas and naturally made colours from flowers to produce simple and vibrant paintings.

With a cultural shift every few miles, there was plenty of space for art to grow and thrive. It did so remarkably well. India is now a multi-cultural community with a catalogue of representative indigenous art forms. Accompany us on the journey to rediscover them.