bhil art


Etymology: They are the second-largest tribal community in India. Bhils of Rajasthan were appointed as ‘Shikaris’ (hunters) by the Rajputs, they are also regarded as the fighter or warrior tribe of Mewar.

Origin: The Bhils are an agricultural community and their entire lives revolve around their farms and lands which plays an intrinsic aspect in their artistic practice and is reflected in their artworks.

Location: Bhils are the second largest populated tribal communities, their areas of occupancy could stretch from Madhya Pradesh to Gujarat, and from Maharashtra to Rajasthan, although the larger part of the community is from Rajasthan. 

Relevance: Since the Bhils are an agricultural community, their art is a direct reflection of their lifestyle practice as they extensively use materials such as clay, vegetables, spices, and oils for their art practices.


Significance: The residents of the majority of the Bhils are in areas in Rajasthan, they believe in forest spirits/deities and evil spirits which are part of their tribal folklore. What’s notable is that they were once a nomadic tribe they are hugely into agriculture and farming.

Culture and Societies: Bhils are a ritualistic tribe so their art form is transgenerational wherein the mother figures pass it down to their children, they are also a highly superstitious group. 

Religious significance: The themes they create entail stories on religious epics, myths, tribal folklore and many other folklores in animistic creatures.

Understanding the Art

bhil art

Style: The subjects for these paintings are large and surreal, and the shapes and creatures are inspired by everyday characters, their mythology, religion, and folklore. Every artist’s rendition is unique and their use of these dotted patterns creates their identity as a Bhil artist.

Central motifs: Depiction of their ancestors and deities, animals, insects, festivities, sun and the moon, legends and lore, births and deaths, and religious occasions.

new outlook

Most wall painting artists are now internationally displayed artists. The shifts in their art practice started when they chose canvas over clay surfaces and acrylics instead of natural dyes, they even started portraying modern elements such as buses and other transportation in their traditional narrative. Through the changes in mediums and themes, the way they choose to tell their stories has remained unchanged.

bhil art blogs