Video & eLearning | “Cadence and Counterpoint: Documenting Santal Musical Traditions” – A virtual exhibition on Google Cultural Institute

Chadar Badar (Santali puppetry) performance at the Crafts Museum New Delhi (2014)
Video produced in conjunction with an exhibition titled “Cadence and Counterpoint, Documenting Santal Musical Traditions” held at the National Museum New Delhi between 15 April and 17 May 2015; a collaboration between Museum Rietberg, Zurich, Switzerland, National Museum, New Delhi and Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Manav Sangrahalaya, Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh

View this video as part of a multimedia production available at Google Arts and Culture | Introduction (PDF, 300 KB) >>

Artists: Bhulu Murmu (Chadar Badar maker), Shibdhan Murmu (Chadar Badar performer), Sonadhan Murmu (accompanist musician) and Babudhan Murmu (accompanist musician)
Video & photo documentation: Sudhanshu Shandilya

Tip: also watch a video by Daricha Foundation (Kolkata): Chadar Badni by Sahadev Kisku & group >>

The Santals are known for their rich seren-enec, or song dance traditions. Music, dance, song and poetry are integral to Santal culture, intimately related to the seasons, festivals and rites of passage. It is said that amongst the Santals there is no woman who cannot dance or sing and no man who does not beat the drum or play the flute. In intonation pattern, rhythmic structure and metric frame, as well as in underlying aesthetic principles, Santal music displays very distinctive musical elements. The exhibition documents aspects of the tangible and intangible heritage of Santal music over time, including the remarkable sculpting skills embodied in the musical instruments of the tradition. […]

Musical knowledge is transmitted through a collective oral-aural, participative method, in which memory and tradition are the basic principles. Music skills are acquired by listening and repeating, by assimilating formulary materials, and by participation in a kind of communal retrospection. […]

The Santal are best known for their rich traditions of dance and music, especially the latter, which has influenced mainstream music in India. Their very distinct culture has attracted researchers, scholars, travellers and explorers into their midst, who have brought back Santal stories and objects.

Source: courtesy Dr. Ruchira Ghose (Co-Curator, New Delhi, 21 January 2016); for photo and detailed credits, please check the multimedia production available at Google Arts and Culture here >>

[Bold typeface added above for emphasis]

Tip: view the actual slideshow, watch a video on Santal puppetry, listen to a rare 1914 Santali recording and read the full story

Publications on the above issues may be found here (title descriptions and libraries):


Search for an item in libraries near you: >>

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This entry was posted in Anthropology, Audio resources - external, Childhood and children, Crafts and visual arts, Cultural heritage, Customs, Dress and ornaments, Eastern region – Eastern Zonal Council, Education and literacy, eLearning, Museum collections - general, Museum collections - India, Music and dance, Musicology, Names and communities, Photos and slideshows, Puppetry, Resources, Seasons and festivals, Storytelling, Tips, Video resources - external, Worship and rituals and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.