India has the second-largest population of tribal people worldwide. The evidence of the earliest tribal culture comes from India's Upper Palaeolithic period. Modern times make it easy to access various cultures. Culture encompasses more than just performing and visual arts. In a sense, culture subsumes within its scope the way of life of communities.
The evidence of the earliest tribal culture comes from India's Upper Palaeolithic period, when a variety of tools show that this culture was alive but still developing. During the Upper Palaeolithic era, artistic attempts sprouted.
Twelve years before the discovery of Altamira in Spain - the location of the oldest rock paintings in the world - the first known discovery of rock paintings was made in India in 1867-1868. Bhimbetka, Jogimara in Madhya Pradesh, Lakhudiyar in Uttarakhand, Tekkalkotta in Karnataka and Kupgallu in Telangana, among other places, are some examples of early rock painting sites. A stick-like representation of a human was in use.
The primary animal motifs in the early paintings include a fox, a multi-legged lizard, and a creature with a long nose (later many other animals were drawn). There are also wavy lines, filled rectangular geometric patterns, and a cluster of dots.
Paintings are superimposed, starting with Black, moving on to Red, and finishing with White colour. The subjects of paintings evolved during the late historic, early historic, and Neolithic periods, and creatures like bulls, elephants, sambars, gazelles, sheep, horses, styled humans, tridents, and occasionally vegetal motifs started to appear.
The Mesolithic period, which came after, is the one with the greatest concentration of paintings, the majority of which feature hunting scenes.
In some of the images, men are being pursued by animals, while in others, hunter-men brandishing arrows and barbed spears are doing the chasing. A common theme is presented by community dances.