What is Pithora Art

What is Pithora Art

What is Pithora Art? The Rathwa, Tadi, Bhil, and Nayak tribes of Gujarat, as well as regions of Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, are the artists of the Pithora paintings. The cave paintings on a nearby hillside at Koraj-i-Dungar were the origin of pithora paintings, which date back many thousand years.

The cultural, social, and mythological lifestyles and beliefs of the tribal people are depicted in these paintings. The main wall of the home, which separates the veranda from the kitchen, is where the Pithora murals are located. Pithoro, the chief deity of the tribe and the god of grains, reveres this area of the dwelling as sacred. Both the Saora and Warli tribes painted on the same wall at different times. 

Pithora paintings are also created when children are ill or when youngsters or cattle are being uncooperative. These are often intended to portray creation myths and are rarely made for decorative or ornamental purposes. Additionally, they paint a variety of images on the verandah’s 3 walls, including those involving other deities, spirits, and ancestors. The representation of animal sexual activity as well as that of men and humans is particularly intriguing.

Figures in Pithora Art:

The horse, which is utilized to symbolize the goddesses, gods, and ancestors, is among the most frequently depicted figures in Pithora wall paintings. 7 horses are seen in the paintings to signify the seven hills that border the area. Pithoro’s and Pithorani major characters are all made of white. 

The kumaris, ready the walls for Pithora wall paintings over 7 days utilizing cow dung and clay. But men work in groups of 7 to 8 to create the paintings. The white clay, Pandurya, is really what gives the background its distinctive white color. It is revered by the Rathwa tribe and is thought to clean the painting’s background. Pithora’s murals are painted in red, green, orange, yellow, and blue hues.

Deities in Pithora Paintings:

The first figure depicted in these paintings is Ganesh, also known as Baba Ganeh. He is regarded as the father figure and possesses an elephant trunk. The rain god and defender of animals is Indra, also known as Baba Ind. The main god in these paintings is Pithora deva. He represents all of the universe’s varied creations. Raja Bhoja is revered by animals and in agriculture for producing good harvests.

The food production is attributed to Mathari and Abho Kunbhi Throughout the erratic monsoon season, their daughter Rani Pithoro is venerated. Rani Kajal is yet another female goddess worshiped by the tribes. She is regarded as the tribe’s kuldevi and grandmother.

Process of Making this Artwork:

The first step in the procedure is “Lipai,” which entails creating the background for the walls using chuna, water, and manure. These paintings depict a variety of creatures, including animals, trees, birds, and the cosmos, in stunning and vibrant reds, pinks, greens, and orange.

The sun, the moon, and horses are shown in these paintings as religious since they are thought to be the 3 lucky symbols in Bhilala mythological tales.

Patterns in Pithora Artwork:

Paper and wall paintings display a lovely medley of hues drawn from nature, but each pattern is unique. No two paintings created by a genuine Pithora artist are ever the same, and they are extremely careful to maintain this aspect of their craft as their (unique selling point.) By using varied color schemes, floral designs, and symmetrical murals, each artist creates a distinctive mark on each of his artwork to represent his creativity.

Theme of Pithora Paintings:

The base colors are typically white or cream, but they could also be stark red to appeal to modern tastes with a rustic mud tone. These paintings, which over time have evolved into quite an expensive home décor item seeking remote sanctuary in urban households, portray tribal duties in exquisite detail. The depiction of daily tasks and festivities at the same time, which completes a painting, highlights the coexistence of faith and sadness in tribal lives while accurately capturing the hardships and occasional exuberance of village and tribe life.

Traditional Pithora Paintings:

Even without ritualistic shouting and singing, the paintings would be lifeless. The Pithora painting placement ceremonies, known as (Makai ni vidhi) and (panghu vidhi) are under the control of the head badwa. According to a tribal myth, rain began to fall shortly after a devotee made a vow to appease Pithora deva long ago when our planet was experiencing a drought.

Then he organized the painting of Pithora devas on his house’s walls. Since then, the painting has been started once desires are granted or challenges are overcome. Pithora paintings come in two varieties: ardho pithoro and akho pithoro. It relies on the pledges made as well as the devotee’s financial situation. Five to nine horses are shown in ardho pithoro. All of them—aside from Lord Ganesh—are unmounted. 18 horses and their riders are depicted in akho pithoro.

Famous Pithora Artist “Bhuri Bai”:

She was born in (Pitol) village of Jhabua. Her parents worked as agricultural and wage laborers. Paintings were a vital part of everyone in the community, including Bhuri’s family. Over time, her abilities increased, and she started getting asked to other villagers’ homes to draw.

Bhuri worked as a painter and a construction worker during her teenage years. At age sixteen, Bhuri got married and migrated to Bhopal with her spouse, Johar Singh, a wage worker as well. Bhuri had never left her village before, so she was in for a cultural difference. Bhuri utilized her breaks to sketch on stones, which would later change her life.

Famous artist Jagdish Swaminathan was on the worksite. Bhuri’s painted stones caught his eye, so he requested her to recreate them on paper. He encouraged her to draw more after noticing how easily she moved from stone to paper.

This is how Bhuri entered the world of art and began her career as an artist. Bhuri is recognized as one of the pioneer females from her tribe who carried on the rich tribal tradition of Pithora paintings while promoting economic prospects in a place that was otherwise plagued by infrastructure problems. She enjoys the distinction of having her artwork displayed in several art galleries.


For its followers, Pithora is a way of living and a means of expressing their community, history, and heritage. Its many motifs convey a different meaning. Each deity is shown for a certain wish or difficulty and has its meaning in the painting. Pithora paintings of nature reflect its significance and interdependence in people’s everyday lives.

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