Gond Art – Tribal Mantra

They are mainly found in Madhya Pradesh and its surrounding States. The word Gond comes from Kond, which means green mountains in the dravidian idiom. The Gond called themselves Koi or Koiture. About half of Gonds speak Gondi languages, while the rest speak Indo – Aryan languages including Hindi.

The Gonds traditionally painted on mud walls of their houses. Starting in the early 1980s, certain talented Pardhan Gonds who traditionally serve as professional bardic priests began transforming their ritual performing arts into a new tradition of figurative and narrative visual art: using a variety of modern media (including acrylic paintings on canvas, ink drawings on paper, silkscreen prints, and animated film) they have created unprecedented depictions of their natural and mythological worlds, traditional songs and oral histories. Rich in detail, color, mystery and humor, these tribal art work brilliantly employ modern means to evoke the pre-modern psyche. Jangarh Singh Shyam was the first Gond artist to use paper and canvas for his art. His talent was soon recognized, and his work was exhibited all over the country.