Gond paintings - The Tribal Essence of Life

Gond paintings are a skillful craft that is done through the use of lines and colors; ingeniously drawn by Adivasis from Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Chattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, and Bihar, it comes from one of the country's largest tribal tribes. Influenced by folk tales and Gond folklore, Gond art was originally done on walls and floors that later made their way to other mediums as well.

Every Gond art ever created has a strong, spiritual bond with nature, and hence most of the Gond art paintings concentrate on elements of nature – animals, birds, plants, rivers, and mountains. The origin of the word is irrevocably connected with nature — Gond is derived from the word 'Kond,' which means 'green mountain.'

The Gond people's faith is inextricably tied to these natural forces, and by painting them, they usher in good luck, and in that process, they also express gratitude to nature. Gond art paintings are meticulously created with dots and lines that almost merge into one another, depicting the everyday lives of Gond people and their views about the social, faith, sacred, and natural environment.

  • The origins of Gond art

The Gond people are the largest tribal group in India. They are also known as the Gondi people. They identify as Adivasis and reside in a number of states, but they are mostly located in the South region. Their ancestors date back to the pre-Aryan age, and due to their widespread presence throughout the region, they're also known as Koi, Koyathor, Gondas, or Koitur.

Gond paintings have tribal origins dating back to the Mesolithic period when cave painting was a common activity and a way of life for the people. Drawing on walls and floors can be put parallel to Gond art paintings, which is a continuation of the same tradition. Men and women have been painting the walls and floors of their homes as is traditional for centuries, and it is still done in many parts of the world.

The Gond people also perform this same ritual. Gond art is often regarded as an extension of local art, also practiced by the people of Gondi, called Dighna or Digna art. The similarity between Gond and Digna art was unheard of — the motifs, the use of lines and dots. Digna art has been rendered at festivals and in relevant circumstances such as marriage, birth, planting, etc. As a result, it is thought that Gond art is a new reworking of Digna art and that the parallels in religious values and traditions between the two arts have influenced each other.

  • The mighty Pardhan Gonds

Gond paintings’ journey began in the 1980s when the now-famous Pardhan Gonds began this narrative art of storytelling with the use of Gond's visuals. Gond art is also known as Pardhan Gond Art or Pardhan Gond painting. Pardhan Gonds, the retired priests, became noted for their intense artistic abilities and started to use diverse mediums and colours such as canvases, acrylic paintings, etc.

The myths of the Pardhans are linked to the sacred beliefs, philosophy, and folk mythology of the Gond people. Gond Paintings eventually moved from mud walls and floors to other mediums like canvas as they were advanced to a younger and larger forum, and today, Gond artwork online can be seen everywhere. Not only can these paintings enhance the authenticity of spaces, but they also remind us of the extraordinary talent that grows out of the Gond culture. Even if they are isolated from the western world, they also have a significant influence on the world of art and entertainment.

  • The sacred thread of nature

Every part of nature is holy to Gond artists, and their manifestation of nature is seen in these Gond paintings, which depict trees, animals, birds, rivers, and hills. These pictures are religiously painted by Gond people for different occasions as a means of gratitude, according to their beliefs that looking at them will bring good luck and fortune.

Apart from exploring numerous environmental facets, Gond artists often draw influence from local folklore, Gond myths, and various legends found throughout the nation. They do not limit themselves as artists to make Gond art paintings that represent their values and creativity. In today's world of painting, Gond art has made a major influence by expanding their subject matter and even branching out into abstract works.

  • The colors of Gond

The colours used in Gond paintings are dynamic, intense, and remarkable. Without any previous rough sketching, Gond paintings are created by drawing the sketches, which are then gradually filled in with dots, arrows, dashed circles, and even crosses.

Gond paintings online are notable for their innovative use of dots and lines to bring the scene to life. The drawing has a sense of movement thanks to the creative use of dots and lines. Gond art began, like all other folk arts, with the use of natural colour and tools. Natural elements such as charcoal, trees, soils, hibiscus bulbs, and others were used to build basic colours like white, red, blue, yellow, and green.

  • The magic of Jangarh Singh Shyam

Gond art has evolved through the years, from being painted on the walls and floors of homes to being exhibited in museums to being used as a decorative art form all around the world. This transformation is the result of the hard work of all Gond artists who have honed their talents and put their confidence in its global expansion.

However, several well-known Gond paintings have been credited to Jangarh Singh Shyam, one of the first well-known Gond artists to pass Gond paintings to canvas and paper. Jangarh Singh Shyam was discovered by J. Swaminathan, a well-known painter, who discovered a seventeen-year-old Jangarh Singh painting huts in Patangarh, Madhya Pradesh. Jangarh Singh dedicated himself from then on to teaching the art of Gond art paintings to future generations, his heartfelt attempts to ensure that the art did not perish. Shyam's family has continued to practice this craft since he passed away.

Jangarh Singh Shyam's work can be seen in Bhopal's Bharat Bhavan, where he decorated the main dome and which is revered by Pardhan Gond artists.

  • Gond artwork online

Our series of well-known Gond artwork online accurately represents the creativity of Gond artists; these paintings represent horses, birds, and plants, all of which are auspicious motifs associated with the Gond tribe and bring good fortune.

Peacocks are shown in a number of colours and pose in the Peacock Gond paintings; each painting has a unique appearance, and peacocks are majestically shown in vivid colours. The Deer Gond painting depicts a pair of deer flanked by a lovely peacock, while the Lion Gond painting depicts the lion as envisioned by the Gond tribe, meticulously rendered with dots and lines, with a long spine and imperiously seated in nature.

March 15, 2021 — Team Bimba