patangarh, madhya pradesh

Gond Painting

Gond Painting is mainly done in Patangarh Village in Dindori district of Madhya Pradesh. The Dravidian word "Kond," which means "green mountain," is the source of the term "Gond", one of the biggest tribes in India. Historically, this tribal group created paintings and carvings on the walls of caves that date back more than 1400 years, many of which are from the Mesolithic Period. The Gonds believed that looking at lucky pictures gave them good fortune. As a result, they painted designs, tattoos, and pictures on the walls and floors of their homes. This folk art was a medium to preserve and communicate the tribal community's historical knowledge, culture and lessons.

Painting and other expressive art forms like folk songs, dances are common and customary among the Gond people. The Gonds have been decorating their homes with the traditional geometric pattern called Dhigna and images of animals, plants, trees painted in “Bhittichitra”. The Dhigna and Bhittichitra paintings gave rise to the Gond paintings of today. These were initially made with the use of natural colors made from chuimitti, gherumitti, charcoal etc. but due to the widespread availability in the market, gond artists are now using synthetic colors including acrylic, poster, and oil paints. Presently, canvas and paper has increasingly replaced the mud walls of the homes.

The utilization of geometric patterns, detailed dots, lines, diagonal lines, water drops, seed shapes, fish scales, and curves is the most notable aspect of this tribal art. These components have the desired effect and modestly improve the quality of motifs. These paintings mostly depict nature as their main theme, along with drawing influence from tales and legends. In addition, other well-depicted subjects include Hindu deities (particularly Ganesha), the tree of life, and jungle settings. The graphics are tattoos or simplistic portrayal of people and animals, such as chameleons, butterflies, elephants, cows, lions, fish, peacocks, and other birds.



First & foremost, ideation of design takes place.The sketching is done using chalk on the required surface (fabric/ canvas/ wood). It is primarily done by experienced artisans.


Then, colors are filled in the required shapes. It is where the other family members and junior artisans come in to help.


Details in the form of lines, dots, curves to different patterns are added by the main artisans. Finally, any visible chalk marks are removed by dusting them off.