Modi gave Oz PM warli paintings as cultural link

Last Updated : 24 November 2014, 04:16 IST

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When Prime Minister Narendra Modi traveled to Canberra recently, he gifted his Australian counterpart Tony Abbott two Warli paintings that highlighted an anthropological link between the countries.

Anthropologists believe that Warlis—a tribe living in the hilly as well as coastal areas of the Maharashtra-Gujarat border—are Australoids.

The prime minister is learnt to have explained to his counterpart the anthropological links between Indian tribes and aborigines in Australia.

The Warlis use paintings to express their philosophy, way of life, folk imagination, beliefs and customs. The central motif in the ritual paintings portray hunting, fishing and farming, festivals and dances, and trees and animals.

This community paints only with white pigment—a mixture of rice paste and water with gum as a binding agent—and use bamboo stick chewed at the end to make it as supple as a paintbrush.

Abbott was very happy to receive the Warli paintings and told Modi about the Australian government’s initiatives to preserve cultural heritage of aborigines. Modi also gifted Abbott another painting by well-known Gond tribal artist Rajendra Shyam.

Published 24 November 2014, 04:15 IST

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