The Southern Regional Centre of IGRMS: “A hub for community” at Mysore (Maisuru) – Karnataka

Southern Regional Centre Mysore

The Southern Regional Centre of IGRMS, at Maisuru (Mysore), is the outcome of initiatives of the central government and keen interest of the State Government of Karnataka. The State government has allotted, in the year 2000, one of its prestigious heritage buildings ‘Wellington Lodge’ situated in the heart of the Maisuru (Mysore) city, to establish the Regional Centre of IGRMS. It has started museum activities from 2001 onwards.

The Regional Centre is a hub for community – museum related interactive educational programmes. It provides platforms to various artists/artisan groups from different parts of India to demonstrate aesthetic beauties of their traditional knowledge systems, creative art forms and craft techniques. The Regional Centre organizes periodically exhibitions on various forms of cultural identities, conduct short – term training programme for aspiring people on various traditional art forms and techniques, and organizes varieties of music, dance and theatrical performances of fold, tribal, and classical traditions.

Wellinton Lodge (Mysore)

The Wellington Lodge, situated in the heart of Mysore city, on Irwin Road, is the oldest secular structure having been in existence for over 200 years. This building was earlier occupied by the Duke of Wellington, when he was in political charge of Mysore, during the years 1799-1801 A.D., soon after the fall of Tipu Sultan, the Tiger of Mysore.

The building is constructed using burnt brick in lime mortar. The total area of the site, including the building, is 1,13,365 sft. The area of the compound is 120 meters in length and 88 meters in breadth. The building is two-storied and is a special structure, viewed from all the four sides.

The Government of Karnataka has declared the Wellington Lodge as a State protected Monument in 1991, as per Govt. Notification No.ITY/KMU/87 dated 29.9.1981 under the provisions of the Karnataka Ancient and Historical Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act 1961.

Source of information: Dr. D.V. Devaraj, former Director, Archaeology & Museums, Mysore.

Source: Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Manav Sangrahalaya | इन्दिरा गांधी राष्ट्रीय मानव संग्रहालय
Address: http://igrms.gov.in/aboutus/southern-regional-centre-mysore
Date Visited: Mon Nov 07 2016 19:22:57 GMT+0100 (CET)

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A community whose drumming is associated with Chola, Chera and the Pandya kings – Tamil Nadu

The Hindu, Friday Review, November 03, 2016 | To read the full article and view a larger image, click here >>

Thudumbu and Thudumbattam are played at temple festivals in and around Coimbatore.

We went to Coimbatore for a concert but decided to stay back for a short holiday and ended up doing research on the instrument thudumbu, locally known as jamab.

Thudumbu belongs to the Kovai (Coimbatore) region. It is also known as kidumutti, thidumam, uruti and chera thudumbu.

The origin of the name thudumbu has been attributed to the Thudumbars, a tribal community living in Pollachi, Mettupalayam, Karamadai, Nilgris and Kovai areas. It is learnt that the members of this community used to serve and entertain the Chola, Chera and the Pandya kings and feudal lords,who went for ‘vana bhojana’ in the forests. The thudumbu was also played to chase away the wild animals. […]

Source: Rhythm of celebration – The Hindu
Address: http://www.thehindu.com/features/friday-review/Rhythm-of-celebration/article16091741.ece
Date Visited: Sun Jan 08 2017 19:49:17 GMT+0100 (CET)

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Adivasi Adi Bimb Festivals: Silently but surely bringing the Adivasis of the land to limelight

Ratan Thiyam talks about his special bond with tribal communities and his efforts to showcase their creative side.

Born to parents with a rich legacy of art and culture, barely a year after India had managed to throw off the shackles of colonial rule, Ratan Thiyam had miles to go and missions to fulfil. With inborn orientation towards the arts and aesthetics, Ratan Thiyam has not left out any area of artistic endeavour untried. He is a writer, a poet, a painter, a theatre person adept at everything connected with it. […]

According to him, “Theatre is all about protest, with the highest involvement of aesthetics”. With a love for the underdog, Ratan Thiyam has turned his attention to the ‘world stage’ where his protest is helping to build a congenial atmosphere for the original inhabitants or the Adivasi population of our country. With his highest involvement in aesthetics and his belief in the words of Martin Luther King, “the ultimate tragedy is not the oppression and cruelty by the bad people, but the silence over that by the good people,” he has always been curious to know what kind of art and culture exists among the tribal people. His tryst with them started sometime during the 1970s, when one day he had set off to the hills of Manipur. He climbed hill after hill on a journey of exploration. Fatigued and worn out by sundown, he stood on the threshold of a tribal home, and the boy from Imphal was welcomed with spontaneity. Hot water, steaming food and a warm bed was given to him for the night’s rest, at the cost of the house owner who had to sleep in a make-shift place. […]

“I was struck by their honesty and simplicity. I had the good fortune of seeing a tribal group perform a drama for their leader in which they mimicked him and his pregnant wife with the chief who also joined them in the laughter,” he said. He heard from them the stories of their roots, mythological tales with an original twist of their own. His search to know more about the Adivasis and befriending them is still in his agendas.

He is silently but surely bringing the Adivasis of the land to limelight. Adivasi Adi Bimb Festivals as he has named them, has already been held in several venues of Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal, Andaman and Nicobar Islands and recently in Chaibasa in Jharkhand. […]

A number of plays were staged by Adivasi groups and their success lay in the enthusiastic and spontaneous shouts of the audience. […]

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Tribal language and bilingual newspapers: Key findings & conclusions

ANKITA PANDEY, thehoot.org, 20/12/2016

What are the factors that decide whether and where tribal language publications flourish? Some of the answers are surprising. | To read the full article, click here >>

Tribal languages have received insufficient attention in our country. Only a small number of them have managed to register their presence in the world of print media. This article analyses registered tribal language newspapers and examines the conditions that support the growth of tribal languages in print media. Key findings are:

  • Between 1957 and 2015, 340 newspapers were registered with the Registrar of Newspapers for India (RNI) in 34 tribal languages and 48 districts in 13 states.
  • Registered tribal language newspapers accounted for only 0.25 per cent of all newspaper registrations, whereas tribal communities have over the years accounted for at least seven and a half per cent of the country’s population.
  • About 90 per cent of tribal language newspapers were registered in 27 languages of seven North Eastern states.
  • […]
  • A large population size does not necessarily support the growth of tribal language newspapers. The central and eastern states where the bulk of India’s tribes live have very few tribal language newspapers.
  • Only 16 tribal newspapers including nine in Assam, two each in Nagaland and West Bengal and one newspaper each in Chhattisgarh, Tripura and Jharkhand filed annual statements in 2014-15.
  • About 66 tribal newspapers are in circulation at present.

The Eighth Schedule of the Constitution lists 22 languages, including two tribal languages, Bodo and Santhali, that were added in 2004. In 2001, the Census reported 93 tribal languages, including Bodo and Santhali, spoken by more than 10,000 people each. Other sources that do not restrict themselves to languages spoken by more than 10,000 people also show that there are many more tribal languages in India than non-tribal languages. However, the tribal languages are barely represented in the print media. […]

Since 1957, when RNI began registering newspapers, at least one tribal language newspaper was registered in every year, except in 2002, and ten or more tribal language newspapers were registered in 11 years (Figure 1).The period after the Emergency (1978-91) witnessed the most robust growth in tribal language newspapers, with the annual rate of registration being almost twice that of the 1957-77 and 1992-2002 periods. There has been a revival of growth after 2002. […]

Santhali newspapers were registered in four states – Jharkhand (6 registrations), Maharashtra (2), Odisha (6) and West Bengal (8). One newspaper each was registered in 12 other tribal languages including Nagamese and Sadri, which are link languages spoken by tribes. Together the Kuki Chin languages spoken in Mizoram and south Manipur accounted for 64 per cent of all tribal language newspaper registrations in India, even though they constitute less than two per cent of the country’s tribal population (Census, 2011). […]

Periodicity – monthlies have been growing

About 25.6 per cent of all newspapers registered between 1957 and 2015 were dailies. Until 2005 tribal language monthlies accounted for only 29 per cent of newspaper registrations in comparison to 25 per cent of weeklies. But, in recent times (2006-15) the share of monthlies increased to 45.9 per cent compared to 9.4 per cent of weeklies and 29.4 per cent dailies (Figure 7). The resurgence of monthlies suggests that it is difficult to sustain dailies in tribal languages.

Ownership is predominantly private persons
Almost two-thirds of all the tribal newspapers were owned by individuals. Only seven individual owners – one each in West Bengal, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Nagaland, and Tripura and two in Meghalaya – belonged to non-tribal communities. Private publishing companies owned only three per cent of the newspapers (Figure 8).Youth, students’ organisations and political parties owned ten per cent of the registered newspapers. […]

Bi-/Multi-lingual newspapers

A few states have also seen registrations of bi-/multi-lingual tribal newspapers. Unfortunately, RNI does not identify the languages involved in such publications and this has to be inferred from the name of publication and the name and location of the publisher. About 58 bilingual and 16 multilingual newspapers have been registered in the North East. […]

Concluding remarks

Generally tribes do not get sufficient recognition in the mainstream media. The development of media in tribal languages is a step in the direction of developing an environment to nourish the language, culture and heritage. Political autonomy and recognition in a state as one of the primary official languages support the growth of tribal newspapers. […]

Large population size does not necessarily support the growth of tribal language newspapers. The Central and Eastern Indian states where the bulk of India’s tribes live, have very few tribal language newspapers. […]

Source: http://www.thehoot.org/research/special-reports/mapping-tribal-language-newspapers-9860
Address: http://www.thehoot.org/research/special-reports/mapping-tribal-language-newspapers-9860
Date Visited: Sun Jan 08 2017 19:20:30 GMT+0100 (CET)

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The Asurs’ remembrance of their ancestors: A ‘particularly vulnerable’ tribal group –  Bihar, Jharkhand & West Bengal

Prashant Pandey & Premankur Biswas, Indian Express, December 8, 2016 | To view more photos and read the full article, click here >>

Chamru is an Asur, a ‘particularly vulnerable tribal group’ that dominates Sakhuapani’s population of about 2,000 and lives in villages spread over a radius of 10 to 20 km. Besides Jharkhand, members of the tribe live in pockets of Bihar, West Bengal and a few other states. The 2011 Census put the number of Asurs at 22,459 in Jharkhand and 4,129 in Bihar.

The Asurs claim to be descendants of Mahishasur, the buffalo-demon whom Goddess Durga kills after a spirited fight lasting nine nights. It’s this mythology in mainstream Hinduism that’s celebrated in the form of the nine-day-long Durga Puja, but observed as ‘Mahishasur Dasain’ among the Asurs, who hold a period of mourning during which they largely stay indoors.

Chamru says that even when he was a child, though people had their beliefs and biases, nobody attacked them for it, they merely thought they were different. “Those were the days of zamindari. The zamindar of Bishunpur (now the local police station) would ask us to get wood and collect leaves for making pattals for the puja. We would go there, give the zamindar all this and also give him some of our tools. We would then return home before the celebrations began and offer prayers seeking protection from our own ancestors,” says Chamru.

Now as these cultures are seen as offending, Chamru says these are “just beliefs”. “I have heard we are descendants of Mahishasur. That’s all I can tell you. I can’t tell you how our descendants settled down in this part of the country and so on,” he says. […]

Asurs, she says, were once iron smelters, but now the village doesn’t have a smelting unit. Chamru says he used to make small weapons, “but I have forgotten all that now”. According to one of the theories, the Magadh Empire benefited a lot from the weapons the Asurs made. “Their iron does not catch rust. And we know there are many Ashokan-era edicts on iron that haven’t rusted,” says Ashwani Kumar Pankaj, a tribal activist in Ranchi.

Traditionally, Asurs don’t drink cow milk. “We want the calf to have all the milk and grow up strong so that it can be used in the fields,” says Anil Asur, Sushma’s brother. Villagers still don’t drink much milk or tea, happy instead to down a glass of rice beer. […]

Bargi belongs to a group of about 1,000 Asurs, who moved from Jharkhand and Madhya Pradesh in the early 20th Century and work and live near the tea gardens of Jalpaiguri. “My father moved here in 1914 to work for a British tea planter. We have lived here ever since. It’s been more than a century now,” he says.

Jagannath Singh, 67, a social worker who used to work as a primary school teacher at the Carron tea estate school, says the story of the Asurs is like that of most other ‘particularly vulnerable tribal groups‘ of the country, but with a “cruel twist”. “Apart from abject poverty, they also have to deal with social stigma. The Asurs in Jalpaiguri were recognised as a Scheduled Tribe only in 2014, after years of struggle,” says Singh. […]

Source: Meet the Asurs — a marginal tribe that describes Durga as a goddess who enticed Mahishasur | The Indian Express
Address: http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/meeting-the-asurs-a-marginal-tribe-in-eastern-india/
Date Visited: Sat Jan 07 2017 13:10:24 GMT+0100 (CET)

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Creating a learning environment which is aesthetically pleasing, cost effective, environment and child friendly at Thulir – Tamil Nadu

Creation of the new School

After innumerable designs, discussions with the teachers and students and changes, we have finally started on the foundations of the classrooms last month! We would like to create an environment which is aesthetically pleasing, cost effective, environment and child friendly while satisfying the government norms.

The campus will be built by the local artisans we have trained over the years and it will use renewable energy as far as possible. […]

A new technique of mud walling – in situ mud concreting – was tried out here. We mixed mud, debris from the well digging, some stones and a small percentage of cement and poured it into bamboo shutters to make the wall. […]

Music and Dance workshop

Shirly and Baby, the founders of Kanavu Gurukula at Wynad visited with their daughter Shanthi from 20th to 23rdOctober and conducted a song and dance workshop. They got all of us to shed our inhibitions and dance.

Music and dance feed our souls and it is a shame that hardly any of us sing or sway to music nowadays. Even adivasi communities are not engaging actively with these art forms but are just becoming passive consumers of it. We hope they will visit regularly and continue these activities. […]

Parents Meeting

We continue to engage with parents, as we strongly believe that an educative process cannot happen in isolation and parents play a critical part in their children’s learning. We had two parents meetings: one in June and one in September.

Parents actively participated in these meetings and they were very keen to know about their child’s academic performance. Teachers engaged them with the works of their children and provided constructive feedback.

In an open discussion, most of the parents expressed immense satisfaction with the school and they were happy about their child’s progress.  The recurring question about children climbing trees was discussed again in this meeting, with some of the parents apprehensive about tree-climbing and others confident about the benefits of it.

We stressed the need to question ourselves as Adivasi parents, whether our negative response to tree climbing is due to the outside urbanised society’s influence; which makes us feel that our way of living or being with nature is “backward/wild” and must change? How do we educate our children to learn the skills of the modern world while not losing the inherent positive qualities of the local community? […]

Source: Newsletter July-October 2016
Address: http://www.thulir.org/wp/2016/11/newsletter-july-october-2016/
Date Visited: Sat Nov 26 2016 12:55:11 GMT+0100 (CET)

Sittilingi is an Adivasi Village in the Dharmapuri District of Tamil Nadu, India. It is in a Valley enclosed by the Kalrayan hills to the East and the Sitteri Hills to the West. There are twenty-one Malayalee (adivasi) hamlets, two Lambadi hamlets and one dalit hamlet here.

The Hill slopes are Reserved Forest areas and the Valley is green.
Source: Thulir | A Centre for Learning at Sittilingi Village
Address: http://www.thulir.org/wp/#place
Date Visited: Sat Nov 26 2016 13:04:02 GMT+0100 (CET)

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Discussing the scope for an Adivasi agenda: Conference on indigenous knowledge, sacred sites & eco-feminism at Jadavpur University (February 2017) – West Bengal

Themes covered by Prof. Dr. Marine Carrin at Jadavpur University (Kolkata) in February 2017

  • Conference 1: Indigenous Forests: the colonial legacy
  • Conference 2: How Santals speak about places?  The making of sacred places.
  • Conference 3: Indigenous knowledge as reinvented by men, healers, women and children.
  • Conference 4: Sacred sites, eco-feminism, global warming and religious environmentalism: the scope for an Adivasi agenda?

I am also giving a paper at ADRI Silver jubilee in Patna, late March on: The imagining of alternative citizenship in Jharkhand and another in Ranchi I have not yet given a title but that will cover the question of the sustainability of rights.

Source: personal message by Prof. Dr. Marine Carrin, Director of Research Emeritus at CNRS, Unverité Jean-Jaurès Toulouse  (9 February 2017)

Contact

  • Information Office Ph: 2457 – 2227
  • Main Campus, 188, Raja S.C. Mallick Rd, Kolkata 700032. Ph:+9133-24146666
  • Salt Lake Campus, Plot No.8, Salt Lake Bypass, LB Block, Sector III, Salt Lake City, Kolkata 700098.Ph: +9133-2335 5215

Source: Welcome to the official website of Jadavpur University.
Address: http://www.jaduniv.edu.in/
Date Visited: Thu Feb 09 2017 12:21:02 GMT+0100 (CET)

 

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Educational package for children of the Kadar community: Initiating children into formal education easily – Kerala & Tamil Nadu

K. PRADEEP, The Hindu, KOCHI, July 19, 2012 | To read the full story, click here >>

An educational package for pre-primary children of the Kadar tribe incorporating their own language will be distributed in 22 anganwadis this week. Dr. Amitha Bachan, the man behind the project says that it will help initiate the children into formal education easily

They are not like any other children. These kids of the primitive Kadar tribes grow up in a world of their own, a world of the jungle, animals, birds, rivers. They speak a dialect of their own, are brought up in a dissimilar culture. Their contact with the ‘official’ language of the region is limited perhaps to a few common words. And their exposure to the outside world very restricted. […]

When these children begin their tryst with education, at the pre-primary stage in the ‘anganwadis’ near their settlements, they find themselves lost. The language used for instruction and communication here is frighteningly strange. The process flows on to the primary level too. Unable to fully comprehend classroom teaching and the activities, unable to read the language taught or understand the text books properly, majority of these children drop out of school.

Sensing the need for an educational package that incorporates tribal language with the regular teaching methods, the Western Ghats Hornbill Foundation (WGHF), in association with Integrated Child Services Scheme of the Athirappilly panchayat, has come out with a set of two thematic books, a workbook, puzzles and educative cards that is based on the language and knowledge of the Kadar tribe.

The concept has been developed on the thought that use of tribal language in the initial years can go a long way to make them comfortable with the process of education. “The first language taught should be what they are familiar with, their own language. Through this they must first acquire knowledge of their own culture, ethnicity. The official lingo can be introduced gradually as this is essential for their integration into mainstream schools and the society at large,” informs Dr. Amitha Bachan K. H., Director (Research) WGHF and Assistant Professor (Botany), MES Asmabi College, Kodungallur.

The Kadar tribes are endemic to the Annamalais in the Western Ghats. They inhabit 24 settlements of which 20 are in Kerala and four in neighbouring Tamil Nadu. The majority of them occupy around eight settlements in Vazhachal. Till the last century they were unfamiliar to the outside world. This non-agricultural, seasonally nomadic, tribe live by collecting non-timber forest produce like honey, wild nutmeg etc. Construction of dams, emergence of plantations has hugely displaced their habitat pushing them to the verge of extinction. […]

Documentation of the Kadar tribes has not been done earlier. […]”

The illustrations in the book are all based on photographs taken from the tribal settlements and surroundings. So, in the two books you have commonplace objects, characters, animals, birds and things hand-drawn, in bright colours, child-friendly images. The illustrations are by three children Ali Akbar, Vishnu P. V. and Anish C. S. The concept of this educational package has been developed by Amitha Bachan, Shajan M. P., Fasila P. K., and Anitha K. T. Given in these books are the words in tribal language with Malayalam and English translation. […]

The Western Ghats Hornbill Foundation has been supported in this endeavour by the Forest Department, Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF), Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (A Tree) and Centre for Environment and Development, Thiruvananthapuram.

We are now working on field guides on books, trees, flowers for tribes and nature lovers that will have a pictorial index. We have also started work on a nature education series books for senior children based on indigenous knowledge,” says Amitha Bachan.

Source: Lessons through their language – The Hindu
Address: http://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/article3657900.ece?homepage=true
Date Visited: Sun Nov 27 2016 22:29:56 GMT+0100 (CET)

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India’s tribal cultural heritage: An alphabetical journey – Rajasthan & Sikkim

There are 29 states and 7 Union territories in the country. Union Territories are administered by the President through an Administrator appointed by him/her. | Learn more >>

States and Capitals

  1. Rajasthan (Jaipur)
    Related posts on www.indiantribalheritage.org >>
  2. Sikkim (Gangtok)
    Related posts on www.indiantribalheritage.org >>

Note

Some States and Union Territories may not acknowledge the presence of any community recognized as Scheduled Tribe (ST). Yet people from tribal communities now also reside in metropolitan areas, either as (poor) work migrants such as craftsmen or labourers; or (as in the case of educated Adivasis) as students, researchers and professionals: persons with “tribal roots” yet affiliated with India’s government and private institutions such as banks, the mass media and other major companies. They are bound to be more assimilated, even “invisible”, than those who remain attached to their ancestral lands.

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Posted in Anthropology, Community facilities, Cultural heritage, Democracy, Ecology and environment, Economy and development, Education and literacy, Figures, census and other statistics, Government of India, Languages and linguistic heritage, Literature and bibliographies, Maps, Museum collections - India, Organizations, Regions of India, Resources, Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Success story, Tourism, Tribal identity | Comments Off on India’s tribal cultural heritage: An alphabetical journey – Rajasthan & Sikkim

Video | Kalamandir (Jamshedpur) founded in 1997: Preservation, conservation and dissemination of art and cultural heritage – Jharkhand

Published on Aug 8, 2015

The initial videos of Kalamandir, describing its objectives, main and interest in preservation, conservation and dissemination of art and cultural heritage.

Kalamandir has traveled a long way since 1997. This is just to remember all our old acquaintance and friends and our team efforts.

Source: Kalamandir – The Celluloid Chapter Art Foundation – YouTube
Address: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EUWISh49GWg
Date Visited: Fri Dec 09 2016 15:59:37 GMT+0100 (CET)

Contact Kalamandir

8-10, N Road, Bistupur, Jamshedpur

Phone: 0657-2320109
Fax: 0657-2320457

E-mail: kalamandir.jsr@gmail.com
or kala.nrm@gmail.com

Website: www.kala-mandir.org

BIPONI Handicraft Store

8-10, N Road, Bistupur, Jamshedpur

Phone – 0657-2320457
Fax: 0657- 2320457

E-mail: biponishgjsr@gmail.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Biponi?ref=hl

Amadubi-Panijiya Rural Tourism Centre

Gramin Paryatan Vikas Samity
Raotora Road, Panijiya, Amadubi
Dhalbhumgarh, East Singhbhum, Jharkhand

Office: 2320109
Sujit Das: 9234417953

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Kalagram?ref=hl

Source: Contact Kalamandir
Address: http://www.kala-mandir.org/web/contact.php
Date Visited: Fri Dec 09 2016 16:12:43 GMT+0100 (CET)

NGO revives tribal art

NILANJANA GHOSH CHOUDHURY, The Telegraph (Calcutta), November 18 , 2012

Jamshedpur, Dec. 28: In an attempt to promote village tourism and tribal art, Jamshedpur-based NGO Kalamandir will launch specially designed calendars and greeting cards this New Year | To read the full story, click here >>

“Amadubi is a place where a city dweller would get everything — scenic beauty, greenery and a vibrant tribal life. It has the potential to become a good tourism destination. Keeping this in mind we have decided to rope in local artists to relate their stories through Pyatkar paintings,” said Roma Sohi, a senior official at Kalamandir. […]

“Pyatkar is one of the most traditional forms of art in Jharkhand. So, why not use the form to say what we want to promote about this village and the region?” said Sohi. […]

The other village, which finds a mention in this calendar is Deuridih in Kharsawan. Considered to be the birthplace of Kharsawan Chhau, this small hamlet has made it to the list of villages having the potential to attract tourism. “Though we have named and given descriptive details about Deuridih in our introductory message in the calendar, no images of Chhau has been provided as the dance form today is universally known. Pyatkar is something that needs a platform to be promoted,” added Sohi. […]

In the coming days Kalamandir would also conduct trips for school and college students of the steel city to these villages so that they could be made aware of the traditional art forms and the essence of tribal rural life. […]

The original paintings were made using natural vegetable dyes, colours extracted from flowers, bark of trees and yellow clay brought from the nearby rivers. Done up in bright designs and colour schemes, over a dozen paintings have been selected for the calendar but there are only five painting depicted on the greeting cards.

Source: The Telegraph – Calcutta (Kolkata) | Jharkhand | NGO revives tribal art
Address: https://www.telegraphindia.com/1071229/jsp/jharkhand/story_8721225.jsp
Date Visited: Sun Feb 05 2017 10:14:04 GMT+0100 (CET)

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Posted in Childhood and children, Community facilities, Crafts and visual arts, Cultural heritage, Customs, Eastern region, Eco tourism, Ecology and environment, Economy and development, Education and literacy, Film, Games and leisure time, Globalization, Health and nutrition, Maps, Media portrayal, Modernity, Music and dance, Names and communities, Nature and wildlife, Organizations, Press snippets, Quotes, Revival of traditions, Storytelling, Success story, Tourism, Video resources - external, Worship and rituals | Tagged | Comments Off on Video | Kalamandir (Jamshedpur) founded in 1997: Preservation, conservation and dissemination of art and cultural heritage – Jharkhand

Project “Dhwani” introduced at the state-run Tribal Museum – Maharashtra

Garima Rakesh Mishra, Indian Express,  Pune  Updated: March 9, 2016 | To read the full article, click here >>

As one enter the Queen’s Garden near Circuit House, he finds a building that immediately catches attention-the state-run Tribal Museum. On entering the museum, one encounters various artifacts that represent the facets of tribals in the state.

Since there nearly 1,350 artifacts with each having a history behind it, many a times, those who lack the patience to read, are left feeling the need for an audio setup or recording that shares information about each artifacts. Keeping the same in mind, the Tribal Museum, which is run by the state-run Tribal Research Training Institute, is introducing project Dhwani under which audio files playing recordings about each artifact and their history, will be introduced. […]

[T]he recordings will be made available in three languages—Hindi, Marathi and English. “All the tourists, be it Indians or foreigners, will be able to benefit from it,” she said, adding that the museum witnesses nearly 100 visitors daily on an average and the numbers double ot triple when school or college students visit it.

The museum is divided into a number of chambers, each displaying distinctive items. From photographs exhibiting tribal attires and rituals to a variety of musical instruments, utensils, weapons, tools, etc., the museum houses an assortment of items that throw light on tribal culture. There’s a chamber dedicated exclusively to tribal art, primarily warli. One can find warli paintings on walls, besides colourful masks of warli and kokna tribes and a variety of tribal jewellery. Tribal culture and literature scholar Kundalik Kedari says that although the initiative is good, there’s doubt as to what extent it will pass on authentic information. […]

Source: Now, audio guides to disseminate info about artifacts at Tribal Museum | The Indian Express
Address: http://indianexpress.com/article/cities/pune/now-audio-guides-to-disseminate-info-about-artifacts-at-tribal-museum/
Date Visited: Tue Nov 01 2016 18:00:32 GMT+0100 (CET)

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Poet and novelist Mamang Dai: A member of a tribe of “ten thousand messengers / carrying the whispers of the world” – Arunachal Pradesh

Mamang Dai (India, 1957)
Saturday 1 May 2010

Mamang Dai is a poet and novelist. She lives in Itanagar in the North-east Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh. She has one collection of poetry, River Poems, to her credit. Her next collection, Midsummer-Survival Lyrics, is due for publication in 2011. She writes in English. | To read her full biography and bibliography, click here >>

[…] Dai’s poetic world is one of river, forest and mountain, a limpid and lyrical reflection of the terrain of her home state. Nature here is mysterious, verdant with myth, dense with sacred memory. There is magic to be found everywhere: in the way lilies “navigating on a heartbeat . . . are shooting up like swordfish”, in the quiet equipoise of “cool bamboo,/ restored in sunlight”, in the “speechless ardour” of mountains. And there is no doubt whatsoever that “the river has a soul”.

You might be inclined to wonder initially if this is a somewhat facile lyricism. But as you read closer, you sense a more sinister undertow: you realize this paradisiacal landscape is also one of “guns and gulls”, punctuated by “the footfall of soldiers”. You also realize that the simplicity of Dai’s verse is not without guile. It possesses a gentle persuasive riverine tug that can lead you to moments of heart-stopping surprise. Consider the poem ‘Small Towns and the River’, where the reiteration of the river’s soul coexists with a mounting sense of human anxiety, leading you to the unexpected close: “In small towns by the river/ we all want to walk with the gods.” […]

The strength of this poetry is its unforced clarity, its ability to steer clear of easy flamboyance.

So when she describes herself as a member of a tribe of “ten thousand messengers/ carrying the whispers of the world”, you realise you have a pretty succinct definition of what being a poet means to Mamang Dai. You also realize what makes Dai such an effective messenger.

Source: Mamang Dai (poet) – India – Poetry International
Address: http://www.poetryinternationalweb.net/pi/site/poet/item/16974/27/Mamang-Dai
Date Visited: Sun Jan 29 2017 12:04:45 GMT+0100 (CET)

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Tip | 197 Educational YouTube Channels You Should Know About”: Inspiring teachers, therapists, parents and students – Teachers With Apps

Click here for the top channels worth following based on views, subscriptions, and quality of content >>


If you don’t have a YouTube channel as an education provider, there’s a good chance you’re behind the times. Nearly every major educational institution in the world now hosts its own collection of videos featuring news, lectures, tutorials, and open courseware. Just as many individuals have their own channel, curating their expertise in a series of broadcasted lessons.

These channels allow instructors to share information and blend media in unprecedented and exciting new ways. From teaching Mandarin Chinese to busting myths about Astronomy, the educational possibilities are virtually endless pun intended!

Because we can now sift through thousands of resources while navigating a single repository, the potential for inspiration and growth in the field of education has reached a new height.

Here are the top channels worth following based on views, subscriptions, and quality of content:

Source: 197 Educational YouTube Channels You Should Know About – Teachers With Apps
Address: http://www.teacherswithapps.com/197-educational-youtube-channels-know/
Date Visited: Thu Jun 30 2016 16:21:39 GMT+0200 (CEST)

About Teachers With Apps – An Educational App Review and Resource Site

Jayne Clare, Special Education teacher and One of “20 to Watch” Leaders Advancing Education Technology (2013), and Anne Rachel, Early Childhood educator, co-founded TWA back in November of 2010 to help teachers, therapists, parents and students wade through the vast number of educational apps being released on a daily basis. Jayne still carries on their original mission of bringing quality ed tech content to the masses, today.

TWA field-tests every app with a cross-section of students/teachers as part of our review process. Teachers With Apps is dedicated to the idea that quality mobile educational apps are the tools of the future but they need to be used responsibly.

Source: About
Address: http://www.teacherswithapps.com/about/
Date Visited: Thu Jun 30 2016 16:22:55 GMT+0200 (CEST)

Teachers With Apps is pleased to unveil their Teachers With Apps Certified Apps program. This Certification was designed to recognize and applaud Apps that are exemplary. The Teachers With Apps Certified badge of approval is awarded, on a triannual basis, to education apps that prove exemplary in the following areas: content, presentation, and execution, as well as overall user experience.

Source: Apps
Address: http://www.teacherswithapps.com/apps/
Date Visited: Thu Jun 30 2016 16:24:57 GMT+0200 (CEST)

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Slideshow | Ancient rock art and modern graffiti: Continuity of tribal tradition since 1500 B.C. – Tamil Nadu

rock_art_screenshot_frontline_27-11-15

T.S. SUBRAMANIAN, Frontline, 27 November 2015 | To view the slideshow and read the full article, click here >>

India has about 5,000 rock art sites, next only to Australia and South Africa, where prehistoric people have recorded life as they saw it, in paintings, engravings and carvings. Finding and decoding this artistic “perception of reality” is a challenge for rock art hunters. […]

Rock art can be paintings, called petrographs, or engravings/carvings, called petroglyphs, done in rock shelters or natural caves. In recent years, cupules, that is, hollow cup-impressions created on rock surfaces using hammer stones, have also been categorised as rock art.

Source: Discovering & deciphering rock art | Frontline
Address: http://www.frontline.in/arts-and-culture/heritage/discovering-deciphering-rock-art/article7858593.ece
Date Visited: Tue Jan 24 2017 09:28:41 GMT+0100 (CET)

T.S. Subramanian, The Hindu, May 27, 2007 / Updated: September 28, 2016  | To read the full article, click here >>

CHENNAI: A natural cavern with a profusion of ancient rock art, contemporary tribal paintings and even modern-day graffiti has been discovered near Mavadaippu tribal village, about 7 km from the Kadamparai hydel power station in Tamil Nadu’s Coimbatore district.

K.T. Gandhirajan, art historian and explorer, P. Manivannan, K. Natarajan and a group of students from the Government College of Fine Arts, Chennai, made the discovery on May 17 [2007].

They also found about a kilometre away from the site a number of dolmens, called “muni aria” in Tamil, in four different locations in the backdrop of the Anamalai hills. […]

According to Mr. Gandhirajan, who is a post-graduate in Art History, “a spectacular feature of the site is that the rock surface is an admixture of ancient rock art and contemporary tribal paintings, showing continuity of tradition as it were.”

The paintings have been done on a rock surface that is 40 feet long and 20 feet tall. He and other experts put the date of the ancient rock paintings around 1500 B.C. These paintings include a tiger with its mouth wide open, a deer with straight horns, a porcupine, a wild boar, a peacock and elephants.

There are paintings of marching men in anthropomorphic form within a circle.

Below are also men in marching form but not within a circle. There are scenes of an unidentified animal chasing another, an elephant seizing a man with its trunk with another man running after the elephant, etc.

Human figures are aplenty, showing men fighting and dancing. A rare painting has a man in profile, with a peculiar headgear. There is a glut of “mystic” designs and ancient graffiti. A leit motif is the figure of a ladder made out of bamboo poles. Such ladders are used even now to extract honey from beehives situated at heights near the tribal villages. Mr. Gandhirajan said: “Constructing these bamboo-ladders is an architecture itself. Building them is a secret. It is done only at night. Non-community people will not be allowed to be present when tribals build them. These ladders can be sometimes 200 feet tall.” The contemporary tribal paintings show a man wearing a tight coat that has rectangular designs on it. He is seen with a raised right hand and his left hand on the waist.

A drawing of a bus indicates how the arrival of a bus there could be an exciting event. The ancient rock art had been drawn using lime, white kaolin and even ash.

Recently, tribals had used enamel to embellish some of these ancient paintings.

It was both on cue and by accident that the group headed by Mr. Gandhirajan discovered this site. The group had gone to Puliyankandi village near the Aliyar reservoir to conduct a workshop for children belonging to local tribes on art and heritage and rock art sites found nearby. When the children were asked whether they knew of cave paintings, a girl told them that she had seen paintings of elephants on a massive boulder near her village but she could not give the exact location. […]

Tribals believe that the dolmens with compartments were meant for chieftains of yore. The centrepiece is a big dolmen that has a short “compound wall” running around the wall is made of stones with packing.

Source: Ancient rock art dating back to 1500 B.C. found in Tamil Nadu – NATIONAL – The Hindu
Address: http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/Ancient-rock-art-dating-back-to-1500-B.C.-found-in-Tamil-Nadu/article14769223.ece
Date Visited: Sun Jan 08 2017 20:06:18 GMT+0100 (CET)

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The status and spread of Santali in different regions of India: A flourishing language hardly in need of being “revived”

Santali is not a dead language in the first place so it does not need to be “revived”! I have grown up in Santal Parganas where people speak Santali in their homes, in the marketplace, attend church service in Santali (in the Lutheran churches) and sing hymns in Santali. […]

Finally, the Santals of Santal Parganas speak the purest form of Santali. Other varieties have emerged in other regions but our region has retained most of the language’s original pronunciation and vocabulary.

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The People’s Linguistic Survey of India (PLSI), completed recently by GN Devy’ s team has identified many languages as endangered but Santali is not among them. Orient Blackswan has published 50 volumes on the PLSI and their findings are being debated by eminent linguists of India and abroad. I attended a seminar recently on linguistic diversity in South Asia at India International Centre, Delhi, where a speaker from Bangladesh mentioned Santali as one of the languages being taught there.

In India, Santali (Santhali) is one of the two tribal languages that have been recognized as official languages (the other is Boro). But by linking Santali to a particular script (ol chiki), official recognition has also done a great disservice to the larger Santal community. Most of the literary and educational works in Santali prior to this had existed in the Roman script. Skrefsrud’s Horkoren Mare Hapram ko Reak’ Katha (Traditions and Institutions of the Santals), PO Bodding’s A Santal Dictionary: 5 volumes, Santal Folk Tales: 3 Volumes, etc still remain the most valuable works in Santali literature and language. By imposing a little – known script on Santali learners in govt school, this corpus of knowledge is being denied to them.

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[I]n India where about 2000 languages are spoken (about 600 of them being oral/tribal languages). Learning the mainstream lingua franca (English/ Hindi/ Bangla/ Assamese) of that region makes for marketable skills and later raises the learner’s economic and social status. And the issue of political identity is then pushed into place to claim special privileges for the speakers of the marginalized language (Santal/Boro/Oraon etc).

Teaching the marginal language at school will not work long – term if the learner later finds himself unable to compete in today’s highly competitive workplace.

This experiment was tried long ago in two Lutheran mission schools of Santal Parganas (Maharo Girls School and Kaerabani Boys School). My father was from Kaerabani (where he learnt Hindi, English and Santali in the classroom) – but while doing the MBBS course at CMC Vellore, Tamil Nadu, he had to work very hard to keep up with his classmates. As a result, he refused to send us to the same schools and chose English – medium boarding schools run by the Roman Catholics (which was frowned upon by the Lutheran missionaries who had sponsored him earlier).

Source: personal messages in response to “Santals revive the Santali language and tell their own story: A success story to reckon with – West Bengal” by Dr. Ivy Imogene Hansdak dated 21 & 22 January 2017

Dr. Ivy Imogene Hansdak is Assistant Professor, Department of English, Jamia Millia Islamia University New Delhi

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Santals revive the Santali language and tell their own story: A success story to reckon with – West Bengal

Two tribal villages in Bengal revive the Santali language

By Nandini Nair, OPEN Magazine, 13 January 2017 | To view more photos and read the full article, click here >>

PADA MURMU IS the kind of teacher any young child would be fortunate to have. Her eyes dance, her hands talk and her laughter soars as she attempts to engage every four-year-old in front of her. Seated under the sky which serves as a roof, and on gunny sacks that double up as chairs, these children are learning the Bengali alphabet. While most of the dozen-odd kids repeat after her, a few lose focus and play with the mud, drawing patterns and dropping pebbles. But even a casual observer will notice that this is an engrossed classroom. The students read the Bengali alphabet cards held out by Pada and recite ditties that she has taught them. This might seem par for the course in many schools, but here in Ghosaldanga, it is exceptional. Located around 170 km from Kolkata, just beyond the Kopai River, this is a rare Santali school. While any rickshaw waala from Santiniketan will tell you facts and fables about the connection between the Kopai and the great Bengali poet Rabindranath Tagore, Bengali is an alien language for these Santali students. And for native Bengali speakers, Santali is terra incognita.

Close to six million people in India speak Santali (2001 Census). It is spoken in Bihar’s Bhagalpur and Munger districts; Jharkhand’s Manbhum and Hazaribagh districts; Odisha’s Balasore district; West Bengal’s Birbhum and Bankura districts; and in parts of Assam, Mizoram, and Tripura. It is one of the few languages that is not particular to a single state, as Santali and its dialects (Karmali, Kamari-Santali, Lohari-Santali, Manjhi and Paharia) can be heard across the Chota Nagpur plateau. Interestingly, no one script is used for Santali. The Latin script is used in Bangladesh; Oriya script is used in parts of Odisha; the Ol Chiki script is used in certain pockets; and the Bengali script is used in Bengal. Santalis represent more than half (51.8 per cent) of the total Scheduled Tribe population of West Bengal. In the state only 40 per cent of Santals are literate (57 per cent of men; and a mere 27 per cent of women). These dry facts illustrate that while Santali is spoken by millions of people across eastern parts of India, its speakers remain outside the realm of letters, highlighting the importance of teachers like Pada. […]

For the students at Rolf Schoembs Vidyashram (RSV, locally also called the Ashram School), this non-formal Santal day school can make the difference between dropping out and flourishing. […]

The Ghosaldanga Adivasi Seva Sangha (GASS) that works with the tribal population of two Santal villages (namely Goshaldanga and Bishnubati) uses education as a tool to merge and stand out. GASS, along with the Bishnubati Adivasi Marshal Sangha, has been working in these two Santal villages for close to three decades. When they began, each village had only one student who had completed the madhyamik (secondary) examination. They were Boro Baski in Bishnubati village (who now runs the Ashram School) and Sona Murmu (the first student of the Ashram School and secretary of GASS). The efforts of Sona Murmu and Boro Baski have slowly changed the education system of these two villages, which have a combined population of less than 1,000 people.

The story of RSV is itself an example of serendipity and perseverance. […] By learning Bengali (the state language) through Santali (their mother tongue), the students of Ashram School carve a path to their future while preserving their past. Knowledge of Bengali will help them find employment, while the wisdom of Santali will keep them rooted. Boro Baski, who has translated Rabindranath Tagore’s Bengali play Raktakarabi into Santali and has composed several of the rhymes, says, “In Bengali schools, students learn only about Tagore and Gandhi. Not our own story. They are learning only how to become non-Santali. They learn that their future lies in the mainstream. In mainstream culture, there is no space to learn about their own cultures. But if they were to learn the Ol Chiki script, where will they go from here? That is why we teach them Bengali through Santali.”

Boro Baski, who studied at a missionary school and later at Visva-Bharati in Santiniketan, knows all too well the dangers of losing one’s language. While he was punished in school for speaking in Santali, today he is the most educated person in his village. At the Indian Language Festival Samanvay 2016, held in Delhi, he said, “For the Santalis, the survival of our language means the survival of our culture.” […]

In Bengali schools, students learn only about Tagore and Gandhi. Not our own story. They are learning only how to become non-Santali.

The two-pronged approach ensures that students at Ashram School-whether it is Jagdish who lives 5 km away, or Kolpi and Robina whose homes are closer-become bilingual, and thus independent. Sculpture and painting are part of the curriculum, as are dance and music. Santal students learn about their own history such as the Santal rebellion of 1855 against the British and the zamindari system; and their own freedom fighters such as Sidhu and Kanhu Murmu. The students even learn the English alphabet through song. They are taught ‘a’ looks like a pretty girl, while ‘b’ is a ladle to pour oil and ‘c’ is an open mouth. The alphabet book for the 80-odd students is bilingual, with every Santali word written alongside its Bengali counterpart, dadu (grandfather) is explained in Santali as gadam baba, and naach (dance) can be found cheek- to-jowl with the Santali enech. […]

Pada, the 22-year-old teacher, and a former student of RSV, attests to that. Speaking fluent Bengali she says, “Everything I knew, poetry, music, games, it was all in Santali. This school gave me a sense of community and I hope my students get to feel the same.” As a teacher, she believes that by learning Bengali through Santali, these students are able to find moments of co-relation.

Kalidasi Mardi, another teacher at the school, who also studied from KG to Class IV at RSV, echoes Pada’s sentiments. She is the first person in her family to be educated; today, she is a graduate of Visva-Bharati University. […] “The biggest problem is illiteracy. If there is one thing I want to see is that the future generations do not suffer like my parents did.

Even while Pada acknowledges that it is essential that the Adivasi children learn the dominant language, she also asserts, “Bengali and Santali can’t really meet.” Why? With rehearsed ease, she explains, “When I teach my students, I try to stress that we need to remember that the central ideas about Santali culture is dance, music and poetry. There is no way Bengali dance and music can compare to Santali. We have a song for every situation. We feel money takes away from the enjoyment of life. But to earn a livelihood, people have to learn other languages.”

Pada’s answer, which panders to all the classical notions of ‘tribal’, can seem cookie-cutter and even cliché. But in this school and in these villages, one can trace the truth behind her sentiments. Bishnubati village, around 5 km from the school, is a place of delicate beauty. Walking through, it is easy to idealise, even exoticise, the settlement. The harvest has just been completed, the toil of the year lies piled in heaps. The paths are swept clean and no open drains can be seen. With the festival season around the corner, the huts are awash in a new coat of mud, and intricate painted flowers creep up the doorway. Even frescoes span a few of the houses in the main lane. Sanyasi Lohar, artist and teacher at RSV, rallied together a few of the villagers to create these panels of art that depict local festivals and scenes from daily life.

Here in Bishnubati, the conversations of Satyajit Ray’s last film Agantuk (The Guest) come to life. In the movie, the mysterious guest (played by Utpal Dutt) , claiming to be an anthropologist, says he has spent numerous years with the Adivasis of the country, be it Kols, Bhils, Nagas or Santals. In a heated exchange with a lawyer friend, the Guest says that living with tribals he has found that technology is not only a matter of science exploration, rather it is about hunting, weaving, farming and building a hut. When asked about the ‘taboos’ of tribal life, such as witchcraft and shamans, he says the Adivasi doctor with his knowledge of medicinal properties, saved his life. He retorts with defiance, “My biggest regret is that I am not a tribal.”

The debate about whether tribals should be kept separate or should be ‘assimilated’ and ‘mainstreamed’ dates back to the creation of the Indian state. At that time, Jawaharlal Nehru and the Government took the position that they should be allowed their isolation. But as GN Devy, author, professor, linguist and founder of Adivasi Academy at Tejgadh, Gujarat, said at a talk in 2013 titled ‘Why do the Adivasis want to Speak’, “Nobody asked the tribal does he or she want to be left alone, or assimilated.”

In early December, when Bengalis were just pulling out their monkey caps and digging into nolen gur, a seminar was held in Ghosaldanga village about the role of a community museum and its role in the education and development of Santals. The speakers at the event included Sushanta Dattagupta (former Vice-Chancellor of Visva-Bharati) and Kakali Chakraborty (Deputy Director, ASI). The conversations pivoted around questions of modernity and tradition, preservation and dynamism.

The Museum of Santal Culture in Bishnubati itself is a place of good intentions but hapless execution. It wears a new coat of white paint, but within its walls, the items (musical instruments, traps and nets, ornaments) lie listless and reveal no stories. Here one can see the dangers of ‘museumifying’ a culture; it moves from a pulsing living entity to a fossil behind glass. But the question arises: how is one to capture the essence of an oral culture, where memories have not been written down?

The answer is to be found back at the school. It is the end of the school day, the students pack their bags and head out to the world outside. Talking about her students and own experience at RSV, Kalidasi Mardi says, “The school has given me the ability to talk-that is the biggest thing.” The efforts of those like Boro Baski ensure that Santals are given a voice to tell their own stories.

Source: Santali: Talking Time | OPEN Magazine
Address: http://www.openthemagazine.com/article/dispatch/santali-talking-time
Date Visited: Fri Jan 20 2017 09:56:47 GMT+0100 (CET)

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Learn more about the status and spread of Santali in different regions of India: Clarifications by Dr. Ivy Imogene Hansdak >>

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  • For more information, type “Santal education”, “Santal community development”, “tribal women literacy”, “Boro Baski”, “Assam [Mizoram, Tripura] education”, “Satyajit Ray tribal” into the search window here: Google custom search – Indian press coverage of tribal culture and education >>
  • Use the WorldCat.org search field seen here for authors or titles dealing with the above mentioned topics or persons:
Posted in Assimilation, Childhood and children, Commentary, Community facilities, Eastern region, Education and literacy, Figures, census and other statistics, Film, History, Languages and linguistic heritage, Misconceptions, Modernity, Museum collections - India, Music and dance, Names and communities, Organizations, Photos and slideshows, Press snippets, Revival of traditions, Seasons and festivals, Storytelling, Success story, Tagore and rural culture, Women | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on Santals revive the Santali language and tell their own story: A success story to reckon with – West Bengal

“Cover Your Country” launched by PARI: Rural people speak about their lives through photos, narratives, film, and audio materials

Jael Silliman, The Telegraph (Calcutta), Saturday , November 12 , 2016 | To read the full article, click here >>

Rural India’s diversity is well known. Yet the fact that more than 833 million people live in India’s villages, speak over 780 languages, and use 86 different scripts should make us pause to consider the cultural vastness of an India we urbanites know so little about. As the Magsaysay award winner and India’s best-known rural journalist, P. Sainath, has emphasized, media attention in India is almost exclusively focused on its metro cities. […]

When stories about rural areas are featured, their content is rarely about rural people. The ‘countryside’ is covered when there is a large-scale catastrophe; even then, the event is grossly under-reported. It is also written about during the elections, when the rural vote is considered important in terms of a party’s winning or losing seats. For the most part, it seems, we know little of and care less about rural people, their lives, and the challenges they face.

An ambitious effort, the People’s Archive of Rural India (PARI – https://ruralindiaonline.org/), was launched in December 2014. It has built a “fantastic, dedicated platform to capture the most complex place on Earth”. PARI allows us to hear directly from rural people about the many facets of their lives – their languages, their culture, work, traditions, access to schools, hospitals and other facilities, and the skills they possess – many of which are rapidly disappearing. PARI is unlike the ethnographical or anthropological accounts we have learned from so far; the visitor to this digital archive sees rural people and often hears directly from them about their lives in their own idiom and language. The site also has information about rural India from others engaged with this sector.

PARI is an independent entity and does not rely on corporate or governmental support. Over 1,700 volunteers across the nation – photographers, techies, journalists, academics and translators – have come forward to create this platform. Through its photos, narratives, film, and audio materials, we hear rural people speak about various aspects of their lives. Their narratives are supplemented by selected secondary sources about rural India. For instance, with a click of the mouse, one can read the government’s national food security bill of 2013 or a report on mining in Jharkhand, Odisha, and Chhattisgarh by the Panos Institute.

This technically sophisticated platform enables one to gain insights into the collective experiences of rural people without collapsing the individual experience. For example, the diversity of India is captured in the section titled “Faces”. Students of journalism and mass communication at Santiniketan have contributed some of the most arresting photos to this section, which seeks to facially map India. Thus, the engaged viewer can experience the archive at the individual and community levels to visualize the broad contours of the diversity of rural India.

There are photo essays about a plethora of interesting subjects such as the devotion and painful perforation of the Bauris of Purulia during the Gajan festival. Madhabi Maity writes about and has incredible photos of this particular form of Shiva worship. She explains how these “despised and discriminated-against” members of a lower caste earn social respect by displaying their ability to endure unimaginable pain through body piercings during devotional services.
One can view video clips or the ‘talking albums’ of a diverse, multilingual array of rural people. There are several films and articles on weaving; the documentary, Weaves of Maheshwar, received a national film award this year. There is a film on the potters of Bankura at https://ruralindiaonline.org/articles/baked-earth/, where we meet Buddhadeb Kumbhakar, a third-generation potter from Panchmura. We get a sense of the time and skill it takes to make the famous terracotta horses that are marketed in Calcutta. Some of PARI’s articles have been translated into 10 languages. Its being multi-authored encourages this site’s viewers to engage with a very complex reality. Another moving and recent report from Bengal speaks of the difficulties faced by pregnant women in accessing healthcare. It may be accessed at https://ruralindiaonline.org/articles/in-emergencies-we-are-really-stranded/.

India’s urban population comprised 17 per cent of the total population in 1951; this is expected to rise to 42.5 per cent of the total population by 2025. As poverty is concentrated in rural India, large numbers of its young people are moving away to the towns and cities as there are fewer employment opportunities in the countryside. Farming is also in a crisis. These shifts in population have resulted in the disappearance of many traditional skills, languages, and occupations. PARI is recording these skills and languages that are now only practised and spoken in rural India.

Over the past 50 years, 220 of India’s languages have ceased to exist. Tripura’s Saimar has just seven surviving speakers. Since language embodies and is a descriptor of a culture, its loss is significant on many levels. Toddy-tapping was once a regular feature of rural life, yet today in many parts of rural India, it is increasingly difficult to find a toddy-tapper. Such a man can climb up to 50 palm trees a day, each one three times during the season. Either palm jaggery or toddy is made from the sap. “In peak season, a toddy-tapper climbs a height greater than New York’s Empire State Building – every single day.” There are others – potters, metal workers, and other skilled craftspeople – who are also rapidly losing their livelihood.

PARI is not only archiving invaluable materials about rural India, but also developing a cadre of knowledgeable reporters who can report from rural India about its realities. This digital archive has already received some significant awards for its work, including the Praful Bidwai Memorial Award (June, 2016). PARI seeks to “continue its efforts to push the borders of digital multimedia and take journalism, arts, crafts, and literature out of the hands of corporations and hand it back to people.” It will strengthen its efforts to have subalterns speak for themselves; for instance, adivasi women shoot their own videos that are posted on the site. Indeed, PARI has been described as “a Smithsonian from down up”.

It has just launched “Cover Your Country”, and is determined to report stories from all of India’s 95 regions; the mainstream media today covers just seven or eight of these regions. Over the next five years, PARI seeks to place 100 Fellows, one in each of these regions; 12 of them are already in place. These Fellows would be representative of India’s ethnic, caste, and gender composition. Each has the mandate to live in and report from the region concerned on ordinary, everyday issues for at least three months of each year. PARI’s founder, Sainath, explains the magnitude of the project: “It will be the largest exercise in journalist coverage ever undertaken with data, images, and representation from every region of this country.” Its sheer complexity is staggering. PARI’s influence on journalism in India is a work in progress.

Source: Voices from the countryside
Address: http://www.telegraphindia.com/1161112/jsp/opinion/story_118705.jsp#.WEK2-JIkLUN
Date Visited: Sat Dec 03 2016 13:17:07 GMT+0100 (CET)

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Priceless tribal knowledge systems “should become part of the syllabus” – Telangana

S. Harpal Singh, The Hindu, ADILABAD: April 06, 2015  | To read the full article, click here >>

The tribal knowledge systems, shared by the Gond, Pardhan, Kolam and Thotti Adivasis in this district, have originated from centuries of observation of nature, especially the behaviour of birds and animals. Knowledge has been passed from one generation to the other solely by oral tradition, depending largely on observation by the younger generation.

“The knowledge systems will be relevant until the Adivasis continue to be an agrarian society and do not part with their culture, custom and tradition. They will continue to be priceless, literally and figuratively,” observes Harsh Satya, of the Centre for Exact Humanities, IIIT, Hyderabad, who is doing research on the knowledge systems of the tribes of Adilabad.

“Present-day education is distancing our children from our ethos,” sums up Urvetha Ramu, a Gond elder from Rampur in Utnoor mandal on the knowledge systems becoming more and more irrelevant in the tribal milieu. “Documentation is necessary for the benefit of future generations,” opines Utnoor B.Ed. college Principal Mesram Manohar.

At least one chapter on Adivasi people, their lifestyle and knowledge systems should become part of the syllabus from high school onwards. The books of anthropologist Christopher von Furer-Haimendorf on the ‘Gonds of Adilabad’ and ‘Among the Gonds of Adilabad’ written by Sethu Madhav Rao Pagdi should be made available to tribal students,” he adds. Professor Haimendorf published a series of monographs based on his in-depth studies on the Raj Gonds of Adilabad which was part of the huge volume titled ‘The Aboriginal Tribes of Hyderabad’. The study was done between 1945 and 1947 when most of the original culture and tradition of the Adivasis was intact.

Source: Knowledge system of tribal people faces extinction – The Hindu
Address: http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/telangana/knowledge-system-of-tribal-people-faces-extinction/article7072372.ece
Date Visited: Sat Dec 03 2016 12:57:02 GMT+0100 (CET)

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Bhil communities’ success story: Reviving the custom known as “halma” to conserve water – Madhya Pradesh

Ritesh Mishra, Hindustan Times, Indore, 13-3-16

Halma has united tribes people to conserve environment and water

Until now, tribes people have planted more than 11,000 trees in 110 villages, repaired more than 250 hand pumps and dug more than three dozen big ponds in the region, under the drive.

More than 10,000 Bhil tribes people from more than 300 villages will gather at Hathipawa hill, about 1.5 km from district headquarters on March 14 and 15 to take a pledge for the cause. […]

The drive started in 2005, when a group of Bhil social activists decided to take up the cause, said Harsh Chauhan, one of five people who started the drive under a banner called Shivganga Abhiyan.

“Youngster told us that the biggest problem was decreasing forest cover and lack of water in their villages and since then we have started the drive,” he said.

Halma is an ancient tradition of the Bhils where tribes people gather at a place to discuss problems face by the community.

Chauhan said the drive has been going on in more than 800 villages in the two districts and more than 20,000 Bhils have planted trees to conserve environment and water.

“We were earlier suffering from lack of water but now due to the drive we have taken up many initiatives to increase the water level in the village,” said Surti Bai, who tours the district to spread the message of halma.

Source: Bhil tribes revive old tradition to conserve forest and water | indore | Hindustan Times
Address: http://www.hindustantimes.com/indore/bhil-tribes-revive-old-tradition-to-conserve-forest-and-water/story-hAI84PTrx0MNF6bFXnuxaJ.html
Date Visited: Sat Jan 07 2017 12:55:20 GMT+0100 (CET)

Book review “In defence of livelihood” by AMIYA KUMAR BAGCHI in Frontline, Volume 19 – Issue 10, May 11-24, 2002 (India’s National Magazine from the publishers of THE HINDU)
Landscapes and Lives: Environmental Dispatches on Rural India by Mukul Sharma; New Delhi: Oxford University Press; pages xi+234, Rs.475.

[…] GRASSROOTS movements of people are not merely reactive and kindled only at points of resistance against oppression by other humans. They can also build new institutions, construct new structures, and find new ways of living to escape poverty and find some of the freedom that is every woman’s birthright. While big dams almost invariably lead to displacement, Indians have used small dams or bunds all over the country to store rainwater or the run-off from hill slopes, and used them for irrigation, afforestation and soil conservation. On October 28, 1988, a small dam and ponds for holding rainwater were constructed in the village of Sato in Bihar’s Gumla district which lies about 123 kilometres north-west of Ranchi. The assured supply of water and security against soil erosion and landslips has made the Urao [Oraon] community of Sato now regard October 28 as their real independence day.

In Madhya Pradesh, the inhabitants of Gainda and neighbouring villages, in the district of Jhabua, have used halma, a traditional institution for collective labour, to construct numerous civil works that cater to the needs of villagers, with financial support from the government under the Integrated Rural Development Programme (IRDP) scheme. In Ralegan Siddhi, Maharashtra, villagers under the charismatic leadership of Anna Hazare have transformed their habitat into a green, prosperous oasis in the middle of a dry region. Not only have they regenerated the forest or grass cover by means of a ban on the felling of trees followed by extensive replanting; with higher productivity, they have adopted a series of innovations which have in turn raised their earning power and improved their quality of life. “They have grafted the drip irrigation system, solar panels and gobar gas plants” (p. 128). […]

Source: In defence of livelihood
Address: http://www.frontline.in/static/html/fl1910/19100740.htm
Date Visited: Sun Jan 15 2017 10:13:03 GMT+0100 (CET)

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“Real history is created by ordinary people”: Mahashweta Devi (1926-2016), a writer who became a voice of marginalised communities

Mahashweta Devi, a writer who became a voice of marginalised communities

DTE Staff, Thursday 28 July 2016 | To read the full article, click here >>

Mahashweta Devi was not just an onlooker, but a responsible representative of the downtrodden and the ignored population of India

She always believed that the real history is created by ordinary people. For her, the endless source of inspiration for writing used to lie in “amazingly noble human beings” and their sufferings. Bengali litterateur and activist Mahashweta Devi, who breathed her last today in Kolkata, has been fighting against social injustice ever since she started holding a pen for a purpose.

Mahashweta Devi was not just an onlooker, but a responsible representative of the subaltern, the downtrodden and the ignored population of the country. It is through her fierce writing that millions of tribal people in India could manifest their misery. This leading Bengali fiction writer and an eminent social activist wrote extensively on emaciated existence of the most marginalised and dispossessed of our people. Her indictment of the society “for the indignity it heaps on its most oppressed constituents” has always been strong. […]

Mahashweta Devi had thrown herself into the fight to reclaim basic rights of the deprived lot and make them self-reliant. She walked her way through remote villages and deserts in search of oral history and folklore. Her “impractical sincerity” towards collecting data for her stories is reflected in each of her creations. […]

Her work with the Sabars, a de-notified tribal community in the Purulia district of West Bengal, earned her the sobriquet, “The Mother of the Sabars“. As a social worker in the domain of tribal welfare, she rendered her service to the West Bengal Oraon Welfare Society and the All Indian Vandhua Liberation Morcha. She was also the founding member of Aboriginal United Association.

Above all, she would be remembered for founding India’s first organisation for bonded labourers in 1980 that gave thousands of them an organised platform for raising voice against forced labour. […]

Source: Mahashweta Devi, a writer who became a voice of marginalised communities
Address: http://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/mahashweta-devi-a-writer-who-became-a-voice-of-marginalised-communities-55093
Date Visited: Tue Nov 29 2016 20:01:22 GMT+0100 (CET)

Indian Express, New Delhi  Updated: July 28, 2016

Acclaimed writer and social activist Mahasweta Devi has died at the age of 90. […]

She has won both the Sahitya Akademi and Jnanpith awards for literary excellence. She is also a recipient of the Ramon Magsaysay award and the Padma Vibhushan, the country’s second-highest civilian honour.

She began writing in the 60s, moved by the everyday realities she saw around herself in rural Bengal. At that point of time, Devi used to teach in a college on the outskirts of the city of Kolkata. Many of her works have also been the basis of films.

Her works include ‘Aranyer Adhikar’, ‘Chotti Munda evam Tar Tir’, ‘Rudali’, ‘Kulaputra’ and ‘Agnigarbha.’

Source: Mahasweta Devi, acclaimed writer and social activist, dies at 90 | The Indian Express
Address: http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/mahasweta-devi-acclaimed-writer-and-social-activist-dies-at-90-2940584/
Date Visited: Tue Nov 29 2016 20:03:42 GMT+0100 (CET)

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Recipe festivals organised by Living Farms: How to benefit from meals made with locally grown produce | Odisha

Why Odisha’s Tribal Women Are Returning to Their Natural Roots for Guidance on Food

Written by Rakhi Ghosh for Women’s Feature Service (WFS) and republished here in arrangement with WFS |  Read the full article and view more photos on thebetterindia.com >>

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Slideshow | National seminar on ‘The importance of the Community Museum for the Education and the Development of the Santals’ – West Bengal

The National seminar on ‘The importance of the Community Museum for the Education and the Development of the Santals’  that was organized with the support of the Anthropological Survey of India (AnSI) has ended with a successful note on 8th December 2016 at RSV school.  The prominent personalities like Prof. Sushanta Dattagupta, former Vice-chancellor, Visva-Bharati; Prof. Ranjit Bhattacharya, former director of AnSI; Dr. Kakali Chakraborty, Dy, director of AnSI; Dr. Gurupada Saren, IGNOU, New Delhi; Dr. Clement Saren, Ranchi; Mr. Innocent Soren, Kolkata, Fr. David Soloman, Dumka, Mrs. Khukumoni  Hansda, women group leader from the village museum, Prof. Kumkum Bhattacharya, Visva-Bharati, Dr. Martin Kämpchen, Santiniketan  and many others delivered their thoughtful insights to the audience.

The paper of Prof. Tone Bleie, Tromso University was read out in absentia. Due to unavoidable circumstances the Arichali Mela (Santal cultural fair) was cancelled.

Source: Boro Baski by email 11 December 2016

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“We want to change the concept of tribal songs”: Reaching out to present-day music buffs – Jharkhand

ARTI S. SAHULIYAR, The Telegraph (Calcutta), Thursday , December 15 , 2011 | To read the full story, click here >>

Call it the sounds of change. Love it or hate it, folk musicians of Jharkhand are using non-tribal instruments such as the keyboard along with traditional ones such as dhol, mandar and nagada to jazz up their ageless repertoire.

Chutia-based Arun Nayak Mukund, with 10 more tribal musicians, is trying to fuse “modern elements” into indigenous numbers and woo the youth. He claims he does not care if purists scoff at him as the end result is “very melodious”. […]

“For the past one month, I started using the keyboard to showcase Nagpuri folk songs. It brings out the rhythm in vocals and tunes. The lyrics sound appealing and melodious. At the same time, we aren’t abandoning tribal musical instruments that are our mainstays,” Mukund said, calling himself the first tribal to do so. […]

“Something new need not be something bad. Now, I’m using the keyboard in all the events I am invited to, within the state and outside, in my recent concerts in Delhi and Himachal Pradesh,” he said.

Flautist Kamlesh Kacchap added that there was no harm if new elements were added to tribal folk music.

“Unless some changes are made, we will lose our place among the present-day music buffs,” he added.

He admitted that only using tribal instruments had no mass appeal. […]

The group has come out with 10 Nagpuri albums in fusion form as well. “We are getting a good response from music lovers. The music arrangement, beats and rhythms are different,” said another flautist Madhu Mansuri Hasmukh.

He also placed popularity over generic purity. […]

However Dilip Toppo, a well-known tribal artist associated with folk art groups, begs to differ. “These musicians are hurrying the process of change. They are interfering with tribal music by tampering with its roots,” he said. […]

Source: Tribal music keys in fuse fare
Address: http://www.telegraphindia.com/1111215/jsp/odisha/story_14882797.jsp#.WDtMdzVaFAz
Date Visited: Sun Nov 27 2016 22:14:46 GMT+0100 (CET)

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India’s tribal cultural heritage: An alphabetical journey – Nagaland, Odisha, Punjab & Puducherry

There are 29 states and 7 Union territories in the country. Union Territories are administered by the President through an Administrator appointed by him/her. | Learn more >>

States and Capitals

  1. Nagaland (Kohima)
    Related posts on www.indiantribalheritage.org >>
  2. Odisha (Bhubaneshwar)
    Related posts on www.indiantribalheritage.org >>
  3. Punjab (Chandigarh)
    Related posts on www.indiantribalheritage.org >>

Union Territories and Capitals

  1. Puducherry (Puducherry)
    Related posts on www.indiantribalheritage.org >>

Note

Some States and Union Territories may not acknowledge the presence of any community recognized as Scheduled Tribe (ST). Yet people from tribal communities now also reside in metropolitan areas, either as (poor) work migrants such as craftsmen or labourers; or (as in the case of educated Adivasis) as students, researchers and professionals: persons with “tribal roots” yet affiliated with India’s government and private institutions such as banks, the mass media and other major companies. They are bound to be more assimilated, even “invisible”, than those who remain attached to their ancestral lands.

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Bold patterned artworks that tell a story: The colours and lines of Aboriginal art – Rajasthan & Australia

Neena Bhandari, The Hindu, October 15, 2016 | To read the full article, click here >>

The colours and lines of Aboriginal art in Australia’s outback take the author back to the deserts of her birthplace in Rajasthan

In the grainy red sand, Anangu Aboriginal artist Sarah Dalby, 42, glides her fingers to draw a collection of symbols to demonstrate how the Aborigines have been passing knowledge about their land, culture and traditions from one generation to the next. It is a warm spring afternoon in Yulara, the resort town in Australia’s Red Centre desert, and I am in the town square for a 90-minute Maruku Arts dot painting workshop. […]

Symbolism, manifest in Aboriginal paintings, plays an important role in illustrating the Anangu’s (Aboriginal people from the western and central deserts of Australia) connectedness to the land and the life it supports. The bold patterned artworks tell a story, mostly an interpretation of Tjukurpa (the law and stories of ancestors) that the Aborigines have followed for more than 40,000 years, making this the oldest continuing culture in the world.

As Dalby carefully carves the symbols, the workshop coordinator Saha Joses explains their significance and translates the words from Pitjatjantjara, the Anangu language. Minyma (women) traditionally had piti (wooden bowl) in which they carried their babies and used the wana (digging stick) to protect themselves and collect mai wiru (bush tucker) such as kampurarpa (bush tomatoes), arnguli (plum), mangata (quandong), tjala (honey ants) and maku (witchetty grubs — the larvae of the Cossid Moth). Wati (men) carried a kali (boomerang), kulata (spears), miru (spear thrower), tjutinypa (club) to hunt malu (kangaroo), kalaya (emu) and other fauna.

Dalby’s eyes sparkle with approval. Painting workshops such as this help bridge cultural and language barriers. […]

I read and re-read the sheet of Aboriginal graphic symbols with their meanings and scan the palette of acrylic paints (originally, the Aborigines sourced colours from local materials), easels, brushes and thin pencil-sized sticks with a flattened tip, which we are told, can be used to paint the dots. My thoughts travel back in time to the Thar desert in Rajasthan. Bold reds, blacks and yellows added a magical charm to the barren landscape of my birth. I begin with a tali (sand dune), the most prominent feature of any desert, gradually trying to capture the magic and mystery, while losing myself in the intoxicating charm of the red earth. […]

Dalby is one of 800 artists who form the collective Maruku Arts, owned and operated by the Anangu. It endeavours to keep their culture alive for future generations and provides an important form of income for artists like Dalby living in remote communities.[…]

Neena Bhandari, Sydney-based journalist, is president of the Foreign Correspondents’ Association (Australia & South Pacific).

Source: Neena Bhandari uses Australian aboriginal art to travel back in time and space – The Hindu
Address: http://www.thehindu.com/features/magazine/neena-bhandari-uses-australian-aboriginal-art-to-travel-back-in-time-and-space/article9219895.ece?homepage=true
Date Visited: Sat Nov 26 2016 13:29:02 GMT+0100 (CET)

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