Gond - A Splash of Rainbow

Dreamy Art from Madhya Pradesh

Pic Courtesy: Pune Mirror and Singinawa Jungle Lodge, Kanha.

When you see a Gond painting, you cannot help but smile. The whimsical colours, the gentle animals and birds, the swaying trees and the silent conversations within the picture - they evoke scenes of verdant forests filled with bird-song, oceans that throb with life, and hills bathed in starlight.

Gond art takes its name from one of the largest tribes in India – the Gond – who are predominantly from Madhya Pradesh, but can also be found in some parts of Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, and Odisha.

Practised primarily by the Gond artists in Madhya Pradesh (central India), this art dates back to over 1400 years.

The word Gond is derived from the expression 'Kond', meaning 'Green Mountain'.

The Gond artists celebrate Man's sacred relationship with Mother Nature through their vibrant artwork, and also use their art to visually record their history, beliefs, traditions and customs. The art style is characterized by flowing lines, dots and dashes, and is famed for its intricate detailing. Bright vivid colours derived from leaves, coloured soil, plant sap, flowers, charcoal and mud are used to paint it. Motifs and themes include animals, birds, trees, folklore, tribal customs, sacred spirits of Nature, human figures, sun and other celestial bodies, rivers, hills, dreams, and so on.

In Gond paintings, shapes and patterns are the most important element, and there is no preset condition or logic that is enforced upon artists. The artists use their imagination to create fantastical creatures such as flying horses, deer with branches instead of antlers, peacock trees, multi-coloured elephants, black and white tigers, rainbow coloured fishes, jewelled birds, etc.

To know more, please view this video by Outlook Traveller Magazine.