A community of around 4 million people spread all over Central India, the Gonds have a recorded history of about 1400 years. However, considering the fact that they inhabit areas where rock paintings date back to the Mesolithic Era, their antecedents date back even further. So, the Gond customs echo their mesolithic culture. For example, the tradition of decorating their houses with colourful motifs, an activity which may have its origin in the cave-dwelling tradition of our ancestors, Praised by this indigenous community, the word Gond comes from the Dravidian expression Kond, meaning "green mountains." Known as the cultural hub, the Gondwana region of Madhya Pradesh, which includes places like Mandla, Seoni, Balaghat, and Chhindwara, is the birthplace of this famous form of art. To date, Gond art has been practised over generations by artists and artisans with great enthusiasm and passion.
The theme of Gond art is rooted in the enriched folk culture of the tribe. Thus, storytelling becomes a strong element of every painting. The paintings depict many traditional rituals and attempt to highlight man's relationship with nature. In the eyes of a Gond artist, everything is sacred and intimately connected to nature. This mystical art form is created by putting together lines and dots. The imaginative use of lines imparts a sense of mobility to the still images. A certain sense of balance can be observed in the patterns used. Artists use natural colours like extracts of charcoal, plant sap, coloured soil, cow dung, and leaves to celebrate nature through their paintings.
"The mind of an artist is like an open book, eager to narrate various stories to the world."
Gond art is such a form of art that looks at various other forms of tribal art, learns from them, but still brings out something unique and beautiful each time.
Today, although Gond artists have moved to the cities, leaving behind their village lives, their minds are rooted in the aroma of their native soil. So, keeping in mind the essence of their village lives, when the artists create an artwork, it turns out to be unique each time. Like other traditional art forms, Gond art has also experienced modernization. However, it still retains its traditional essence, which makes it special and authentic. Though Gond art is a traditional tribal art, it progresses towards something new.
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