WARLI“-A tribal group dwelling in the mountainous and coastal region of Maharashtra-Gujrat border are amongst the 645 tribes in India.”Waral” (meaning small piece of tilled land) is from where the tribe gets its name. Warli tribes follow customs and traditions that differ vastly from any typical belief.
The Warlis reside in the West coast of Northern Maharashtra. In specific, they inhabit the Dahanu and Talasari talukas of northern Thane, Nashik and Dhule districts of Maharashtra as well as the Valsad district of Gujrat.
Marathi, Gujrati, Sanskrit and an Indo-Aryan dialect (mixture of Khandeshi Bhili and Marathi) are the languages widely used by the Warlis for communication.
Spread out in an area of 400-700 sq.ft, the Warli houses are well built with plastered mud walls that are made of ‘Karvi‘ (soft stem of the Strobilantes callosus Nees plant) and supple bamboo. The floors of the house are plastered with cow dung. Use of medicinal plants like the karvi and other natural fibers act as a disinfect making the inhabitants less vulnerable to diseases. The roofs of the houses are thatched with palm leaves and paddy straw that keeps it considerably cool even during hot summers. It is also capable of withstanding heavy monsoons.
Warli homes are not just shelters but a symbol of protective living that conform to the invincible law of nature.
The Warli Customs and traditions are weaved around Mother Nature. With Farming as the major activity, Warlis show immense respect towards Nature and Wildlife. During the sowing season, God of rains ‘Narandev’ is worshipped followed by prayers to ‘Himaidevi’ and ‘Hirva’, the domestic Gods. Before harvesting, the Goddess of fields ‘Savari’ is offered prayers and worshipped. The reaping season calls for celebration and glorification of the Tiger-God (Vaghadev) and Corn-Goddess (Kaansaari).
At the time of marriage’ Palaghata’, the Goddess of fertility, is worshipped. Marriages are joyous occasions with the entire village giving a helping hand to the families that are about to bind in this auspicious union.
Dhumsa Dance, Gauri Dance, Kambadu dance, Tarpa and Dhol Dance are some of the vibrant dance forms that flaunt their tradition.