After having several rounds of discussions on the format and concept of the Banam making workshop, the two day workshop on 18-19 August 2018 went on successfully in the museum campus at Bishnubati.
It started at 9:30 am on the first day. After the breakfast and registration the participants who came from different villages of Birbhum and Purulia district were given the wooden logs. Those who needed special kind of wood were however bought from the market. The participants were free to take their places in anywhere in the campus like under the tree, in the open field or on the verandah of the museum. After working two hours everybody assembled for the formal inaugural session of the workshop.
Mr. Debu Murmu (Giri), the chief guest of the workshop and a traditional banam maker and player spoke on the role of banam in the socio-cultural life of Santals. Other banam makers and common villagers also shared their views and stories that are related with banam since centuries. Most of the stories were connected with the bongas (spirits) of the Santals and their ancestors. The special guests from Santiniketan were Prof. Sushanta Dattagupta, the former Vice-chancellor of Visva-Bharati University, Dr. Martin Kaempchen and Mr. Snehadri Shekhar Chakraborty, all of them shared their views too.
The second day of the workshop was kept for banam making whole day and common villagers were welcome to see the work. The two day workshop was very busy and creative. Seeing the banam being made, made us nostalgic of our past.
The Banam making will continue till the month of October and final production will be exhibited on 9thDecember 2018 in the Museum Day celebration at Bishnubati.
Source (photos and text): Report by Dr. Boro Baski on the Banam Making Workshop at Bishnubati (by email, 9 September 2018