“Indigenous animation at its best”: Santhal puppetry Chadar Badar – Jharkhand

Clay animation, meet your great-great grandparent.

This is indigenous animation at its best — figures that dance in such perfect and continuous synchrony that they appear to be automated.

Chadar Badar or Santhal puppetry, a rare and obscure form of performing art, is on revival route. It recently debuted on a prestigious platform — Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts — between October 20 and November 20, 2010, at the Akhyan festival dedicated to folk art, including masks, scroll paintings and puppetry. […]

Accompanied by song, flute and drumbeats, the puppets create an illusion of a rhythmic Santhal dance.

“Making the puppets is a key aspect of Chadar Badar,” said Dwivedi, an artist trained at Kala Bhavan, Santiniketan, who has been intrigued by the form ever since he stumbled on it way back in 1985.

During one of his Dumka trips, Dwivedi, then a young man, noticed a dismantled but intricate puppetry set tucked away in a thatched hut at Noasar village. “But I failed to gather printed material on this form at Anthropological Survey of India, Asiatic Society and Indian Museum during my research and documentation of Chadar Badar for the National Handicraft and Handloom Museum, New Delhi. Not many Santhals knew about it, either,” Dwivedi said. “But interestingly, references were found in Santhali dictionaries by J. Campwell and B.O. Bodding,” he added.

The reason for this obscurity could be that only a handful of Santhals performed this form, and that too only for a few days during Dasain festival held around Durga Puja. […] Finally, in 2009, a four-month workshop was held at Santiniketan, with Dwivedi as its director. With collaborators such as Asian Heritage Foundation, New Delhi, and Sir Dorabji Tata Trust, Mumbai, the workshop roped in master trainers Bulu Murmu and Som Murmu from Dumka to teach eight Santhal youths how to make puppets.

The youths, two each from four districts in Jharkhand and Bengal — Som Marandi and Santosh Soren (Dumka), Arjun Soren and Sahadeo Murmu (Deoghar), Sukur Murmu and Sanatan Murmu (Birbhum), and Rabin Hembrom and Anil Hansdah (Burdwan) — learnt to make puppets with their intricate lever-controlled mechanisms.

Bulu, Santosh and a three-member accompanying team trained by Santosh, performed at the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts. And at the grassroots, too, the form is enjoying a second coming. The youths are now performers in their villages. […]

Source: Tug at heartstrings of tribal heritage – Obscure Santhal puppetry Chadar Badar gets new lease of life by M. GANGULY, The Telegraph Ranchi, Jan. 6 2011
Address : http://www.telegraphindia.com/1110107/jsp/jharkhand/story_13400270.jsp
Date Visited: Tue Jul 19 2011 19:56:30 GMT+0200 (CEST)

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See also

Audio | Santali Traditional and Fusion Songs: Ghosaldanga Bishnubati Adibasi Trust – West Bengal

Banam (Santal string instrument)
– eBook: Banam Making Workshop at Bishnubati | Daricha Foundation
– Video: Banam Raja | Interview with Nunulal Marndi | Reviving the Huka Banam

eBook | Background guide for education

eBook | Free catalogue: Banam: One of the ancient musical instruments of the Santals

eBook | Free catalogue: Museum of Santal Culture (Bishnubati) – West Bengal

eBook | “Santals Celebrate the Seasons”: Creativity fostered by Ashadullapur Gramin Silpa & Sastha Bidhan Kendra – West Bengal

India’s tribal, folk and devotional music: Secular and ceremonial songs

eJournal | Writing and teaching Santali in different alphabets: A success story calling for a stronger sense of self-confidence

Infusing the Santhali Element in Schooling by Rina Mukherji

Museum collections – India

Museum of Santal Culture Bishnubati

Music album and video by Santal village children and youths (DVD, CD): “Children see world around them differently” – West Bengal & Odisha

Music and dance | Adivasi music and the public stage by Jayasri Banerjee

Puppetry | Santali Chadar Badni / Chadar Bad(o)ni”| Daricha Foundation
– eBook: Cadence-and-counterpoint-documenting-santal-musical-traditions
– Video: Damon Murmu | Sahadev Kisku | Shibdhan Murmu

Santal | Santal creation myth | Santal Parganas | The Santals by Boro Baski

Santal cultural traditions documented on the Daricha Foundation website

Santal flute music: Audio resource by Adivaani.org – West Bengal & Jharkhand

Santali language | eBook | A Santali-English dictionary – Archive.org

Santali script – Ol Chiki

Santal mission | Santali songs recorded in 1931 at Kairabani (Jharkhand)

Santal music | Santal Musical Traditions: National Museum (exhibition catalogue)

Video | Santali video album “Ale Ato” (Our Village)

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

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