Tribal Museum Bhubaneswar: Founded as a “Museum of Man” to promote tribal development – Odisha

Pravukalyan Mohapatra, Orissa Review * September – October – 2005 | Read the full article >>

Museum of tribal arts and artifacts in Bhubaneswar has opened up a new vista into the future direction of Orissa’s tribal economy and culture. It would usher in a cultural renaissance in the State. The aim of setting up this museum is not only to help preserve tribal cultures from extinction but also to promote appreciation of a better understanding of tribal development vis-a-vis culture. It is in a way, an acceptance of the fact that no more can we afford casual approach to the life and living of our tribal brethren. Rather, we have to be more pragmatic and practical towards them than ever before.

The idea of setting up a tribal museum in SCSTRTI (Scheduled Cast and Scheduled Tribes Research and Training Institute) located at C.R.P.F. square, Bhubaneswar was originally conceived in 1987, but materialised on March 5, 2001. The exhibits of the museum represent the elementary human cultural values that had shaped our past, are determining our present and will be guiding our future. So the Museum of Tribal Arts and Artifacts can be conceptually labelled as “Museum of Man”. In common parlance, “Museum of Man” means an integrated institution which disseminates knowledge covering the human species in its totality. […]

This museum has approximately 1900 displayed tribal artifacts in five halls. They exhibit dresses and ornaments, dhokra items, dances and musical instruments, hunting implements, fishing
nets, weapons of offence and defence, personal belongings, arts and photographs. […]

The attraction of the arts and photographs section includes snaps like ‘shaman‘ and ‘animal‘ of Saora, Koya dancing girls, women of Bonda and Dongria Kondh with traditional costumes and sketches drawn by tribal children at school. […]

As tribals constitute a major segment (21.13% of total population, numbering 81.45 lakhs as per 2001 Census) of Orissa, non-tribals living in close proximity with them for centuries are considerably influenced by tribal traditions and cultures. Both tribals and non-tribals in Orissa are influenced by each other’s lifestyle to a great extent. That is why Orissan culture is an integrated, composite culture. The supreme God of Hindus, Lord Jagannath, had been the God of primitive tribe, Savaras or Saoras. Half-hewn  wooden deities of the adivasis (schedule tribes) have great iconographical similarity with Lord Jagannath, Balabhadra and Subhadra. The tribal society of Orissa has undergone great changes under the impact of new economic and political forces. In the name of development their society and culture should not be distorted or disintegrated. It is the duty and responsibility of the modern civilization to preserve the valuable ingredients of the endangered tribal culture and tradition with all its distinctiveness and purity. It is expected that the Museum of Tribal Arts and Artifacts will have a positive and constructive contribution towards this goal.

The writer is a Bhubaneswar-based freelance Journalist and he lives at Qr. No.VR 3/2, Unit-3, Bhubaneswar. 

Source: Tribal Museum – An Exotic.pdf
Address :
Date Visited: Sat May 10 2014 16:11:57 GMT+0200 (CEST)

[Bold typeface added above for emphasis]

Tribal Museum Bhubaneswar
Gopabandhu Nagar
Bhubaneshwar, OD 751008

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