The custom of making designs on walls and floors for festivals or religious purposes is common in India. Every year whenever the huts are whitewashed, a fresh design is created by using fresh colours. The tribals are least concerned about the surface, texture and quality of material, medium and style. Their aim is merely to decorate the surface with available material. They paint the walls of their huts or wooden poles or any other flat surface. Their common pigments are red, yellow, black and white earthen colours and vegetable colours. For colouring toys and some other decorations turmeric, lime, rice and leaves are used.
The brushes are either a small feather, or a piece of cloth or cotton, wrapped on a wooden stick or sometimes a twig. The twig is slightly splayed or chewed at the end. For the wall painting fresh surface of the wall is made, coating it with a paste of cow-dung which is then coated with liquid cow-dung or white clay, and this surface is painted freshly.
The factors limiting the tribal artists would be the symbols of his culture. There are a large number of paintings which are based on some common symbolic forms. These forms are seen in the interiors. They have made these in suggestive manner.
The way of depicting human form is with a vertical centre line for body with two semi-circles or in a cross or in a triangle or in a square or rectangle. Legs are depicted generally in a stand-in-ease position. Hands are either raised upwards or remain parallel to the earth. Heads are represented with a big dot
Animal and Bird Forms
Animals are generally shown with a horizontal line with head and tail at the two ends with three or four legs. Animals are shown in standing position. Birds are drawn either in flying or sitting postures. Animal forms are lesser in number. The forms of snake, fish, peacock and flying birds are common in the symbolic paintings of the tribals.
In some of the festive occasions tribals wear or display their masks which are illustrated with colours. The wood is whitened with clay and when this has dried, patterns are traced in black or red. Some of the masks are caricatures of Hindu ascetics; some are the representation of demons. Many masks were made and decorated in pictographic style. Tigers, birds, snakes, centipedes and trees were drawn on the cheeks and foreheads of the masks, the purpose being apparently decorative.
These masks are good examples of collage painting. They are decorated with white, red and yellow ochre and black colours along with bear or horse hair and rice seeds and scraps of broken grass.
The aboriginal marriage booth and wooden pillars adopted from the Hindu's sacred pole are made in elaborate style in this region. The decoration gives these posts a significant look. The decoration is done on white background with red or on red background with white dots and lines.
Some specimens of decoration of motifs on earthen pots were found. Tribals have hanged or kept these earthen pots as effigies. On these pots either on white background or black background they have drawn some motifs. In most cases it is witchcraft to keep away all sorts of damage to the products.
On certain ceremonial occasions the tribals decorate their bodies with coloured stripes and other designs. In marriages too turmeric is used for colouring some parts of the body.
Among the other forms include depiction of the moon, comb, tree, star, snake and aero plane. Depiction of flowers, leaves, flower pots and trees are common, though they have become more representational.
The decoration of objects and body with different colours are common. Colour decoration is limited to certain objects or occasions. The common objects are wooden doors, masks, posts and toys. Mostly white and red ochre colours are used for painting these things.