Songs of the Forests
The living traditions of Gond paintings -
In the depths of Madhya Pradesh, India, beats the heart of the Gonds- a tribe as old as time. As the community bard (singers) or Pardhan invokes their Great God- Bada Deo- while playing the Bana instrument, he fulfills the crucial task of keeping alive the legendary tales of the ancient Gond kings. Every story, song, dance, and painting brings the community together in a shared celebration of nature and the universe.
The Gond tribe has several branches or gotras, each with its own story of origin. The Pardhans, they say, are descended from the youngest of seven Gond brothers who became a priest and a storyteller on the instruction of Bada Deo.
As the ancient tribal fable unfolds in the 21st century, the gond artist’s vivid paintings narrate tales of their faiths and beliefs, world view, their visual expression and sense of identity - both as a collective , and as individuals. Vibrant colours and animated motifs filled with intricate patterns of dots and dashes bring their mythical jungle to life. Trees, animals, birds, the sky, water, and earth sway and dance to the rhythm of the Pardhan’s tunes and brush strokes.
Gond traditions and fables are a reflection of man’s close connection with his natural surroundings. The Gond painting transports you to the seamless world of the imaginative and the surprising.