(Last Updated on : 21/09/2013)
Wall decoration among the present tribals is not a complex art. Wall decoration is more common in villages than towns. The earliest two dimensional art was carried out either by pre-historic artist on rocks or walls of the caves. The walls of their huts are decorated with colour or symbols. Mud huts have provided an attractive surface for decoration. This flat surface has always been an inspiration for the artists. The mud wall can be utilized for wall decorations on wet as well as dry-surface.
Clay and cow dung
is the most commonly used material for making walls in villages. Men complete the structure and ceiling of the house. Clay kneading, making of the wall, plastering of mud and decoration is the responsibility of women. The women have kept the folk art alive in its true sense in the villages. They experiment with new forms.
The wall's frame has provided flat surface to express their artistic talent. They have depicted their rich tradition and conventions on the walls of their huts. The wall decoration shows their artistic awareness. It is creation which has no purpose excepting creation of beauty.
Technique of Wall decoration
The wall decoration is a lengthy procedure. From the beginning to the end of hut-making the entire family of tribals takes part. Wall decoration is lastly executed. It is considered as the finishing touch of the tribal hut construction. These huts are built around a square courtyard which is one side open. When the structure has been completed, the walls are fixed and the work of women begins. They cover the base work of the walls with a coat of wattle and smear it several inches deep. For this purpose the women dig red clay which is mixed with the chaff and husks of Kode. The clay needs to be thoroughly kneaded. With the help of the hand thick plaster of mud is applied. This entire work is free hand and requires great skill and planning. The mud should be damp throughout the process. The mud plaster is applied in after making the patterns. Coating of the wall is left to dry for a day or more than that. Finally a thin coating with a mixture of fresh cow dung and soft white clay, diluted in water is given. This needs to be once a year renewed.
Lay-Out of Wall decoration
Decoration is of two types - a) one or two forms are made at one or two places and the major portion of the wall remains plain. This form is generally found in the centre of the wall or by the side of door case or around niches and window. Single form is human, animal or in the form of motifs. b) The entire wall is decorated into successive frames and each panel of frame is the part of the main composition of wall.
The woman artist surveys and plans the area of wall that needs to be decorated and begins by making a simple frame around it. These frames are simple lines or bars, occasionally enhanced with raised scrolls or incised chevrons or bone patterns. If the frame is a large one it may be elaborated with a large variety of motifs, single or double wavy lines, loops with small projections around the belly. The area may then be further divided into panels by broad bars enhanced with geometric motifs. The objects to be portrayed are plastered within the frame or panels, generally on a slightly lower relief than the outer surrounding lines.
Themes for Wall Decoration
These decorations have two aspects - the decorative and establishment of god, goddesses, religious and magical motifs. The decorative patterns are based on geometrical forms like circles, triangles, dots, crosses, parallel lines and wavy lines. Birds and animals are depicted. The most common animals depicted are deer
, rabbit, lion, elephant
, horse, peacock, bull & snake. Human figures are drawn without much detail. The most significant decoration is that of successively raised frames at two or three levels.
The gods and goddesses are represented symbolically. Some of the Hindu deities like Lord Hanuman
, Lord Ram
and Laxman, Radha
, Lord Krishna
, Lord Ganesha
& Goddess Durga
are found in naturalistic style. Tribe's own gods and goddesses are developed in symbols. The representation of clan-gods, magical forms and signs of lightning are some of the important issues of decoration.