Tribal Art & Culture of Madhya Pradesh & Rajasthan
(Bhil & Gond Paintings)

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Whenever Indu Bai Marawi paints a house, she doesn’t forget to decorate its wall with digna, the traditional motif. Digna, which gave them training in the art of making lines and granted the colour sense which later helped them to create myriad images on papers and canvases. Indu Bai feels it is the Gond woman to whom the credit should go for having initiated so many of them into painting. Digna is always done by the women of the house. Her husband Ram Narain also feels the same and says with a certain pride that he had learnt the contemporary Gond painting from his wife.

When 10 years old Indu would take her cow and goats for grazing with other children, the children would be playing in the water while the animals grazed. Indu and Jangarh quite often would sit quietly and make toys with clay. It was on the wall of her house that Jangarh had drawn the image of Hanuman which had caught the attention of the student from Bharat Bhawan. They also wanted to know about the digna on the wall which was done by Indu. Indu being a girl was never sent to Bhopal. Years later, when her first husband remarried, Indu Bai came to Bhopal with her three years old daughter, determined to make a living. She had struggled hard but had never left painting. She had taught the art to many people including her second husband who has now established himself in his own right.

Indu Bai was awarded by IGRMS in 2008 and she had travelled widely in India, showcasing her painting. 


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