Witches in Warli tribe

Warli art is the ancient folk art of India, practised even today in the region of Maharashtra. Every religious ceremony in Warlis are mediated by a priest or Bhagata. In order to become main bhagata, students take intensive trainings in different groups, in caves or in hidden locations. This knowledge transfer is done by one of the main Bhagata.

Something that I found interesting in the concept of Witches: Bhagatahood training was forbidden to women, because it was observed that women who underwent training would misuse her knowledge and become more powerful. These women were known to become a Witch. Bhagatas often fear the presence and distraction of witches during the bhagatahood training. Witches are represented with spiky hair, flying in the bundle of grass, in painting done by the Warli artists (Unique art of Warli painting, Sudha satyawadha, 2010).

Below I have tried to write a poem, with Warli art of a witch on the bundle of grass.

One Comment

  1. Sabiscuit says:

    Interesting cultural notes, Namitha. Oral histories to pass down the traditions and of course the apprehensive response to a woman with superior skills. It’s the same wherever we go. 🎃

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