The Gond Paintings is a hidden treasure that is passed on from generation to generation in Patangarh, a small village in the North Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. It is a speciality of the Gond tribe, which is relatively a new art form, and its roots can be traced far down in history.
The Gond Tribe
Mostly found in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, the Gond tribe is one of the largest Adivasi communities. Legend has it that ages ago there was a beautiful symbiotic relationship between the Pardhans (Priests and Storytellers) and the Gond tribe. The Pardhans would appeal to the God Bada Dev by playing a musical instrument, Bana and through this; immortalize the Gond patrons’ Genealogy. However, time and societal changes have affected the relationship between the Gonds and the Pradhansbut today, they are far more likely to be found doing odd jobs for farmers than recording history.
Jangarh Singh Shyam
To re-live some of the songs of the Gonds, a young painter Jangarh Singh Shyam started painting in the sand. He helped replace songs with paper and canvas as the medium of storytelling to immortalize the Gond Tribe. The vivid Gond paintings today tell tales of nature, deities and demons, and fables of the tribe.
Presently, the Gond paintings are used to keep the tribe alive. In addition to painting on paper and canvas, Gond women use tattoos and decorate their homes with coloured mud paintings.