A tribute to Indian folk art


I traveled through India, often complaining

About the lack of infrastructure, feigning

A Westernized approach to the land, I should say

(Not proud of myself as I write this today)

Then there was something that left me

Mesmerized and amazed, when I did see

(Again like the typical Western traveler)

Folk art in its unadorned splendor

With vivid earthy colors, in media varied

Imprinted on walls, floors; clothing indeed

Bringing alive the vibrant culture of the nation

Retelling folklore in a pictorial fashion

From Mithila come the paintings Madhubani

Depicting flora, fauna and gods for all to see

Miniature paintings originate from the era of the Mughals

With intricate details and a Persian influence visible

I saw the vivid geometric forms in white stand out

In Warli paintings, against a red or ochre background


Carrying the weight of 2500 years of history-

I then acquainted myself with styles more contemporary-

Kalamkari- the art of drawing images with a pen on fabric-

Thanjavur paintings using gold foil have an effect quite dramatic

The Gond art forms that show a belonging with nature

The Phad scrolls that narrate tales, on cloth, of grandeur

The richness of culture emanating from these forms of art

Brought patriotic fervor back into my heart

As I learn about these ancient art forms whose existence 

Is imperiled today, I have to applaud their simplicity and brilliance!



Top: My attempt at a Madhubani painting

Bottom: clockwise: (images sourced from internet): Phad, Thanjavur, Kalamkari, Warli, Miniature styles

Published by iheart11

A 30-something year old woman, physician by profession, fiercely passionate about work, family, travel and fashion..

5 thoughts on “A tribute to Indian folk art

  1. Hey ….. I truly loved this work bcoz I really loved the way that you tried to know our culture (I m an Indian).When I see people like uu who really values our culture and our beliefs then it makes me happy and by the way I am from Mithila region 🙂 and ur attempt at Mithila painting is great !


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