The official “Know India: National Portal of India” maintained by the Government of India distinguishes between folk and rural art in general, and tribal art by referring to “another form of traditional art” in particular:
The 35 states and union territories sprawled across the country have their own distinct cultural and traditional identities, and are displayed through various forms of art prevalent there. Every region in India has its own style and pattern of art, which is known as folk art. Other than folk art, there is yet another form of traditional art practiced by several tribes or rural population, which is classified as tribal art. The folk and tribal arts of India are very ethnic and simple, and yet colorful and vibrant enough to speak volumes about the country’s rich heritage. […]
Tribal art, like folk art, has also progressed considerably due to the constant developmental efforts of the Indian government and other organizations. Tribal art generally reflects the creative energy found in rural areas that acts as an undercurrent to the craftsmanship of the tribal people. Tribal art ranges through a wide range of art forms, such as wall paintings, tribal dances, tribal music, and so on.
Source: Folk and Tribal Art – Culture and Heritage
Date Visited: 20 May 2011