Indian Tribal Art

Indian tribal art is almost entirely ‘functional’ and had great utilitarian or social significance. There is very little art for art’s sake in a tribal village. Much of the art has a religious or magical purpose. It has great social importance. There is very little that is simply decorative or that aims at the creation of beauty and nothing else.

Let us look then at this motif of religion or magic that has directed so much creative activity.

In Bastar, the Muria Tribal People offer at their shrines attractive little brass images of horses, elephants, human figures, or magicians in a swing. Other tribes make offerings of birds, horses and elephants of clay.

During Marriage, the beautiful crowns for the bride and groom are made to offer them protection.

It is the Santal people who have lavished the greatest attention on their marriages, particularly on the marriage palanquins, in which bride and groom are carried from house to house. These are elaborately carved and the carvings symbolically represent the joy and comr