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Tribal artists make a splash on online platform

The paintings of tribal artists from the remote agency areas of Telangana have literally arrived on a global platform, thanks to Amazon, the largest e-commerce market place.

Until a few months ago, the humble artists, Bhim Rao, Navin, Guchaiah and many others from tribal areas did not even foresee a demand for their traditional paintings, reflecting the ethos of different tribal communities.

But things have begun to change for them after the Telangana Tribal Welfare Department, sensing potential patronage for their art, commissioned a few paintings.

The work of the tribal artists, all simple, with unique patterns and inspired by nature, make an immediate connect.

The first batch of paintings, 17 of them, done by the artists from Gond, Koya and Naikpod communities, when put up for sale through the Amazon online platform a few months ago, were all sold out. The artists, now working in the residential campus of the Tribal Welfare Department in Hyderabad, have completed another 35 paintings. They will be put up for sale online by Amazon soon.

The idea to provide a wider platform to the paintings came when the Tribal Welfare Department and the Tribal Museum Curator D. Satyanarayana, working closely with the tribal communities, recognised the appeal of their traditional painting practices.

Bright colours

The Gond paintings stand out for use of bright colours and intricate lines. The Gond art mostly represents a tree emerging out of birds (peacocks) and animals (ox, horse, deer, elephant and tiger).

The Koya artists draw on the surface motifs of their sacred ‘Hariveni’ posts, sacred flags and big bottle gourds.

The paintings of Naikpod tribals are reflections of face masks of their kings, Pandavas like Bheema, and traditional village temple deities.

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