(Last Updated on : 11-08-2010)
Varli tribes or Warlis are considered as an Indian Scheduled Tribe
, residing mainly in the talukas of Nashik district
, Thane district
and Dhule district
of Maharashtra. They are also found in Valsad District
of Gujarat, and Indian Union Territories
- Daman and Diu
and Dadra and Nagar Haveli
. Varli people speak an unwritten Varli language. This language belongs to the southern zone of the Indo-Aryan tribal languages
. The name Warli has been derived from 'Warla', which means field or piece of land. Their main occupation is agriculture and allied activities.
If one makes a visit to the western provinces of the country, it is inevitable that one easily comes across several tribal communities that have settled here over the years. Amongst these tribal communities, the names of the Varli tribal community deserve mentioning. The anthropologists too have conducted innumerable surveys on the life of these Varli tribes. As a result they have been able to throw some light on the lifestyle, culture, tradition of this Varli tribal community. Following the tradition of most of the tribal communities of the country, these Varli tribes too have taken up the occupation of farming and cultivation. In fact these Varli tribes have been growing ample crops and other products and thus sustain their livelihood quite happily.
About their festivals some interesting things have been highlighted. Needless to say, the society of the Varli tribal community truly gets ennobled due to the vistas of festival that these Varli tribes celebrate throughout the year. Varli tribes have incorporated a tinge of their local cultural fervour to them. For example, Varli tribal community celebrates the festival of lights, Diwali
with great enthusiasm and they call it with the name Barash. Other festivals are there which this Varli tribe observes in great jubilance. Bhawada festival is also observed by these Varli tribes. They also celebrate Kali Puja after the season of harvesting of crops. The Varli tribal community has made significant contributions to the heritage of Indian tribal art through Warli Paintings. The themes chosen in Warli paintings
are inspired by nature.