NAGPUR: The Anthropological Survey of India (ANSI) on Monday opened a new section, ‘Material Culture of Central India: Unity in Diversity’ at its museum in the city to mark the International Museum Day. The section was formally inaugurated by the director of the South Central Zone Cultural Centre (SCZCC), Piush Kumar.
The section has on display various aspects of present tribal populations of Central India, related to hunting and gathering, fishing, agriculture, religion and art and craft. It is a part of the permanent AnSI museum which houses other exhibits on history of man through various ages, the human evolution, tools through the ages, culture and life of man as well as the history of man traced through the mitochondrial DNA.
The exhibition depicts how the tribals mainly depend on agriculture and collection of forest produce which is supplemented by hunting and fishing. Certain tribes like the Abhuj Maria, Birhor, Kharia and Kamar from Central India still engage in these activities. They use locally available material and their skills to design modified hunting and fishing equipment. They have been developing fishing traps of various sizes depending on the nature of water flow.
The tribals still use wooden plough for cultivating crops like rice, maize, millets which are their staple food. Gond, Bhil, Kawar, Nagesia, Andh and Korku tribes practice agriculture as a source of livelihood. But they also engage in subsidiary activities like working as agricultural or industrial or forest labourer.
They continue to make various types of traditional art and craft items but with some modifications. Baskets, bell metal artefacts and iron wood carvings are being made but as per the present market needs and sold at market rates.
On the religious front, the exhibition has made an attempt to show religious practices of various cultures. […]
Source: Anthropological Survey of India museum opens section on tribals of Central India – Times of India, Times of India, 19 May 2015
Date Visited: 5 March 2022
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Anthropology as is being practiced in the Anthropological Survey of India is unique with a truly holistic flavour. From very early on, it endeavored to bring in multi-disciplinary teams recruiting Anthropologists of both Cultural/Social and Biological varieties along with Linguists, Human Ecologists, Biochemists, Psychologists and Statisticians who collaborate with each other and with the National and State level institutions, while interacting with the renowned scholars of other countries to study man in all his entirety, not just for the sake of study but to create a human concern for one another and to help tackle problems of contemporary relevance.
Anthropological Survey of India swung in to an all round modernization drive by employing state-of-the art technologies and infrastructural development in a big way to go ahead with its mandate.
Source: Anthropology, Anthropological Survey of India – Ministry of Culture
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