Walvanda is home to the indigenous Warli tribe, who still hold on to their beliefs, customs and language, despite the pressures of urbanisation. Their seemingly exotic world is just 130 kms from India's financial capital Mumbai.
The Warlis maintain minimalistic lifestyles and put lofty environmental theories into practice. Krushna Khanzode, seen here, grows nachani (finger millet) and rice for his own sustenance rather than for commercial purposes. He also works as a daily-wage labourer with his wife, Ladaki. Photo: Gajanan Khergamker
Art is the mainstay of the peaceful and tranquil village of Walvanda, even if their walls are bare and unplastered on the outside. Agriculture used to be the Warli tribes' main source of income, but now villagers grow bamboo, mostly to use as a mesh for protection during the monsoons or as firewood for cooking. They rely heavily on nature in their daily lives. The Warli tribals, despite being located in one cluster close to the highway, retain their customary lives and culture. A Warli tribal woman is seen here putting wood outside her home. Photo: Gajanan Khergamker
Warli mother Meera Mhasara combing her 14-year-old daughter's hair on the verandah of her house in Walvanda. In recent times, the Warli women have shown an increasing interest in education, challenging societal norms and seeking to broaden their horizons. With access to education, they are better equipped to safeguard their culture while navigating the changing tides of modernity. Photo: Gajanan Khergamker
Warli women embrace their roles as nurturing mothers and dutiful wives but their contributions go beyond the domestic sphere. They actively participate in decision-making processes within their community, offering invaluable insights and perspectives. This inclusive approach instills a sense of belonging and empowerment among the women, fostering harmony within the tribe. Here is a young Warli mother at a community ceremony being held following her child's birth. The elderly of the village meet for a feast, albeit humble, at her house. Photo: Gajanan Khergamker
At the heart of the Warli lifestyle lies their strong sense of community. They live in close-knit hamlets, and their daily activities often involve cooperation and mutual support. Sharing resources and helping each other in times of need is a vital aspect of their minimalistic lifestyle. Here is a Warli tribal giving a haircut to a neighbour, all for free. Photo: Gajanan Khergamker
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