New gallery to showcase exquisite tribal and folk art: Recognizing an important yet neglected side of the Indian heritage”: National Museum – New Delhi

The Hindu, NEW DELHI, February 7, 2014

The National Museum has got another newly-designed gallery – Tradition, Art and Continuity – which is displaying about 200 exhibits of ethnographic interest. It was inaugurated on Thursday by Union Culture Minister Chandresh Kumari Katoch.

The displayed objects include Rahi palanquin (marriage litter) from the Santhal community and scroll paintings from West Bengal, costumes of Rani Sahiba Baji of Himalayan Chamba, textiles such as phulkaris, and bronze works from Bastar besides terracotta works and basketry. They have been put on display with the aim to “give recognition to an important yet neglected side of the Indian heritage”.

The newest collections have been acquired over the years through exploratory expeditions and gifts from private collections.

The gallery showcases crafts where deities from the Hindu pantheon, such as Ganesha, have been assimilated in tribal creations, thus hinting at cross-community influences and different sections of society. […]

Describing the gallery as an endeavour to showcase exquisite tribal and folk art, which had been in the collection of the National Museum, Dr. Venu said they celebrate the simplicity, beauty and sophistication in our daily crafts. “Most of them face various risks and we thought it essential to bring them back into circulation.”

Noting that rapid globalisation had ushered in fierce urbanisation and industrialisation, thus altering the lifestyle of rural and folk communities, Dr. Venu said this is a dilemma every surviving indigenous community around the world faces.

“Long-practised traditions are being abandoned and artefacts and crafts true to the identity of a community have got removed from daily use.”

According to curator Jayshree Sharma, Indian subcontinent, with its varied landscape, has been home to a diverse group of communities with distinct cultures and habits.

“Within this kaleidoscope of cultural diversity, there still exists a common vocabulary for the ways and means adopted in designing and constructing objects that fulfil basic needs,” Ms. Sharma said. […]

“Here, the basic need informs the design and the tangible and intangible aspects of heritage remain closely linked,” said curator Anju Sachdeva.

Source: National Museum gets a newly-designed gallery – The Hindu
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