Gond Art

Look closely at this painting. Notice the detailing of tiny lines and dots, which are drawn with great care and precision. This style is typical to Gond art. The lines and dots add a sense of movement to still images. The Gonds worship nature through their paintings.

Let us learn more about this fascinating art form from the story of Gond painter Siddharth.

Siddharth Choubey is a thirteen year old Gond boy who belongs resides in the Patangarh village in Madhya Pradesh. Gonds are a community of adhivasis residing in central India mainly spread across Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh, Telengana, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, eastern Maharashtra (Vidarbha), and Western Orissa.

Gond Art

He belongs to a family of Pradhan Gonds, the priests of the Gond community, who, in the old days, bore the responsibility of passing down tribal stories and forklore through music and painting. Siddharth was very fascinated about how the traditional paintings of his community depict tribal forklore.​

Since he was very young, his mother, a Gond painter herself, told him that the history of Gond paintings dates back to nearly 1400 years ago. She also told him that the word “Gond” is derived from Dravidian idiom “Kond”, which means green mountains.

Gond Art

The mother and son duo painted the walls and floors of their home during religious festivals, such as Holi, Diwali, etc. and when there was an engagement or marriage in the family. These were also called Digna and Bittichitra paintings by the community. They believe that good images bring good luck.

Pattachitra Art

Siddharth and his mother painted in vivid colours, such as yellow, red, blue, and white, which they derived them from coloured soil, leaves, charcoal, cow dung, yellow from chui mitti (local sand), brown from Gheru mitti (also a type of sand), red from hibiscus flowers, and plant sap. They primed the walls of their house with a special soil called Pidor. They then used charocal and limestone to make the outlines and detailing of lines, dots, etc.

Siddharth was brought up by his community to believe that every object of nature, such as rivers, hills, trees or rocks, are sacred as they are inhibited by a spirit, and painting them is a form of worship. The community considered them a representation of man’s relationship with nature.

Like other Gond tribal artists, the themes of his paintings not only depicted nature, but were also inspired by a variety of other themes including imagination, dreams & emotions, legends & myths of India, and day-to-day village life. He also painted scenes of cock fights, agriculture, local deities, forests, marriages, and other rituals.


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