For W, I bring you Warli art, the ancient folk art of the Warli tribe of the western Indian state of Maharashtra, which is at once simple and minimalistic, as well as rich with details and meaning.
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Wondrous Warli Art
Where there is….
Warli: There is a Story … of
The Woodpecker of Wisdom
I bring you a tale of friendship sublime
of ancient times (aka once upon a time),
in a forest deep like a bottomless well
also as green as a sea of fresh kale,
lived three friends merrily..
Deer, woodpecker, and turtle–;see,
one day a hunter stopped by, set a trap
that snared the deer. Woodpecker, she snap-
ped her fingers, claws – well, whatever – and went to work,
set turtle on trap-gnawing duty, and with a smirk,
flew to the hunter’s hut without delay,
flapping wings, swooping down, driving him cray-cray..
The hunter retreated, but not for long,
armed with a Swiss-army knife, he returned strong.
He picked another door in his attempt to flee,
but the woodpecker was as smart as a doorknob wouldn’t be.
Where the hunter emerged, she was too,
holding him at bay in his forested igloo.
Only when enough time had passed by, did she
let the hunter out, enough time for the deer to get free..
There is more to the story that you can read online,
but what I said above I saw in a Warli painting so fine,
on a wall in a village in the middle of a city;
seems the artist left the story willy-nilly for a pretty….
But. when life gives lemons…., of Warli I can speak –
a place, a tribe, an ancient style of art simple yet unique.
For the Warli people of Warli village,
their art is storytelling and language.
At once minimal and so very full of details,
Warli uses triangles, squares, and circles to tell tales,
of life everyday, of rituals and more,
of nature, birth, death, and even daily chores.
While tradition meant white paint of rice flour on mud walls,
today Warli art is on bags, pots, thingamajigs, and that’s not all…
~ Vidya Tiru @ LadyInReadWrites
The Day 27 Prompts
NaPoWriMo’s Day 27 prompt is to begin by reading Bernadette Mayer’s poem “The Lobelias of Fear.” Now write your own poem titled “The ________ of ________,” where the first blank is a very particular kind of plant or animal, and the second blank is an abstract noun. The poem should contain at least one simile that plays on double meanings or otherwise doesn’t quite make “sense,” and describe things or beings from very different times or places as co-existing in the same space.
The APAD Day 27 prompt over at Writer’s Digest is to write an anapodoton poem. An anapodoton is an unfinished phrase that a person can fill in the blanks, phrases like “When in Rome,” “If life gives you lemons,” “Speak of the devil,” and “Where there is a will.” Write a poem either responding to, playing up, or subverting a popular anapodoton. Make the titles of your poems an anapodoton before jumping in and poeming
References and Further Reading
- Wikipedia page on Warli art
- This article about Warli art
- A Return to The Land – A history of Warli paintings
- The Jataka Tale of the Woodpecker, Deer, and Turtle
My W Book
When Clouds Touch Us
When Clouds Touch Us by Thanhha Lai (Children’s Stories in Verse | 8 -12 years, and up)
Description: Inspired by the author’s own childhood, this stunning novel in verse, sequel to the award-winning #1 bestseller Inside Out and Back Again, picks up two years after Hà and her family arrive in Alabama as refugees from the Việt Nam War.
Source: Netgalley ARC
My Quick Thoughts
I read Thanhha Lai’s Inside Out and Back Again years ago, and maybe it was one of the reasons I fell in verse novels (not sure, but I definitely wanted to read more stories in verse after this). When I saw there is a sequel coming, I had to request for the ARC. And to my delight, Thanhha Lai is wowing me again! I am halfway through the book (which is due out on May 9th so not too far out), and have stopped just to write this post though I am guessing I will be done in a bit anyways..
Thanhha’s use of the prose-poem, as she calls it, is superb. In the introduction, she mentions she uses it to better think in Vietnamese while writing in English, and the result – is beautiful, lyrical, and ….well, running out of words here.. I have found myself highlighting so many lines that I simply loved that now the pages seem to have taken on a different color themselves!
And Now, the End of the Post
Linking up to BlogChatterA2Z, Blogging from A-to-Z April Challenge, NaPoWriMo, and the Ultimate Blog Challenge.
17 thoughts on “Wondrous Warli Art: Like When Clouds Touch Earth”
Vidya, thank you for another poetic travelogue! I have learned more about India this month than in the rest of my life put together. Blog on, brilliant friend!
I got a copy of When Clouds Touch Us at the library conference last week, and I’m eagerly looking forward to reading it.
Your article on Warli Art is simply captivating! I was mesmerized by your vivid descriptions of the art form and the way you tied it to the natural world. It’s amazing how the Warli people have kept their traditions alive through this art. I learned so much from reading your piece.
Your post on Warli art is a true gem! Your writing is beautifully descriptive and helped me to visualize the stunning artwork you described. I enjoyed learning about the history and significance of this art form, and your passion for it is evident in your words. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and love of Warli art with us!
Sounds like an interesting book. I’m sure my daughters would love to read this one. Honestly, I’d love to read it as well.
That book looks like something my youngest daughter would really enjoy! She loves to learn about other cultures.
I had not heard of Warli art before, and this book sounds quite interesting. I learned a lot, and the book is such a unique read.
I love verse novels too! I think they’re so beautifully written. I’d love to read this one.
My daughter has gotten back into reading these last few years, and would find these lovely books interesting. I can’t wait to share this with her.
As a fan of stories in verse, this book has definitely caught my attention and might just find its way onto my reading list. T
I am so glad to discover India through your eyes and words, to know more about its art, culture and habits.
The books seem interesting. Since I have never heard of it. I will find a way to put it on my reading list for future read. Thanks for sharing this with us.
That Woodpecker poem was cute and fun, I like how it read like a classic children’s rhyme.
That is great to help out with the poem prompts. The story when the clouds meet the sky sounds so interesting to read.
This sounds like an interesting read. I’ll have to add to my reading list.
This sounds like a really great novel or book that I need to check out! Thanks for sharing this with us
What a great book this sounds like. I’m looking forward to reading it.