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The word “Gond” comes from the Dravidian expression kond, meaning “the green mountain.”
Gond art is a form of painting from folk and tribal art that is practiced by one of the largest tribes in India – the Gond – who are predominantly from Madhya Pradesh, but also can be found in pockets of Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Chhatisgarh, and Odisha. The work of Gond artists is rooted in their folk tales and culture, and thus story-telling is a strong element of every painting.
The Gond, are the largest Adivasi Community in India. They are Dravidian and their origin can be traced to the pre-Aryan era. They refer to themselves as Koi or Koiture. Their language is related to Telugu and other Dravidian languages.
According to the Gond belief system, all things are inhabited by a spirit and, consequently, are sacred. Gond paintings are a reflection of man’s close connection with his natural surroundings. While a majority of Gond paintings do take inspiration from nature, it isn’t the only source of ideas. They also turn to the myths and legends of India or showcase images from the daily lives and dreams in their art.