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Tribal art is the art of people of different cultural and social groups whose lives are tuned to the rhythms of nature, entwined with the energy of earth and the cyclic change in the environment. Tribal art is the mirror of the energy of the respective art of various tribal groups. Folk and Tribal art is a living and changing art form, which changes with time, necessity, environment, memories and experiences of these people. Fairs, festivals, local deities, Gods and Goddesses, legends, nature and animals play a vital role of the tribal art in India.

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Tribal art is an art where life and creativity are inseparable. Tribal art is very different from other art forms, as the mindset of people from a tribal community possesses awareness towards myths, legends, Gods, dreams, fantasies, and nature- very different from the urbanized population. Their art is an expression of their lives and it holds a certain kind of passion, mystery and expression, missing in urban art forms.

Tribal art goes way beyond time in the history of India. The Pre-historic paintings in the cave shelters of Bhimbetka and Pachmarhi are simple designs showing scenes of hunting, farming and dancing against mottled rock. Initially done in black or earth colors, the palette soon expanded to include white, red, yellow, blue and green. From the onset of the 20th century, art slowly began to jump off the walls and on to palm leaves, wood blocks, cloth and ivory. But in India art became a big thing only during the reign of the Mughals.

Traditionally, the kind of paintings one is likely to encounter in India is Alpana (Bengal), Kolam (South India), Rangoli (Maharashtra), Osa (Orissa), Aripana (Bihar), Sona Rakhna (Uttar Pradesh), Sathiya (Gujarat). Coming from traditional tribal art forms these are names for auspicious multi-colored floor decorations made by Hindus all over the country. Today, tribal art has become the precious livelihood of the artists living in far-flung nooks of India. The following are some names of the enticing collection of traditional and tribal art forms.

Nowadays, these paintings are made on paper. Even today the themes are normally the Hindu Gods and Goddesses and stories from Hindu mythology. Initially all vegetable dyes were used for the paintings but today with the changes over time and because of the easy availability many artists now use acrylic colors as well.