Accordingly, an exhibition was organized in the Rashtrapati Bhawan New Delhi in 1949 and this event proved responsible for the creation of the National Museum. On August 15, 1949, the National Museum, New Delhi, was inaugurated in the Rashtrapati Bhawan. The foundation of the present building was laid by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and the first phase of the National Museum building was formally inaugurated in December 1960 while the second phase of the building was completed in 1989.
|Summarizing the exhibition- At the very beginning|
|A range of the 'Banam'- Santhal musical instruments|
The exhibition presents three types of objects related to the Santhal musical tradition. The first are the musical instruments, amongst which is the most important 'Banam'. A bowed mono chord and the only Santhal instrument to be categorized as a chordo phone, the 'Banam' is carved out of a single piece of soft wood.
|Looking through and loving it- the musical instruments|
|Also displayed are the drums, the 'Tamak', the 'Madal' and a range of flutes|
|The view from the other side-The Banas |
The exhibition also features the extremely lively but languishing art form of the Santal community, the 'Chadar Badar'. This is a unique form of puppetry done on a set with a long pole as base. Rows of beautifully carved wooden puppets dance in formation with the pull of a string and attached mechanism. This performance closely resembles the actual folk dance of the Santhals. In fact, I had the opportunity to first watch the video version in the special AV room at the beginning of the exhibition and then moved onto the n beautifully handmade piece which I've photographed and can be seen just below.
The Chadar Badar- a unique form of puppetry
|A visual representation of how this particular piece was made by the original karigar|
|The third set of objects in the exhibition is the Jadupatua, or scroll painting, all very stylish and beautiful.|
An important part of the exhibition is the documentation of Santhal traditions over time. Photographs, some taken by well known musicologists such as Alain Daniélou and Deben Bhattacharya, document the Santhal community from 1950's onwards. Original audio records from 1914 and videos, from the late 1960's up to the present day are also part of the documentation and go a very long way in making the whole experience that much more real and interactive.
In a nutshell, the exhibition is an close look at the world of the Santhal community, its rich culture and musical traditions. The Exhibition is on view at the Special Exhibition Hall 2, National Museum, from 15 April till 17 May 2015 so for those of you who can make it, I would recommend it - very highly.