Cultural Vibrancy at National Tribal Carnival 2016
Pragati Maidan is a haven for fair lovers largely owing to its huge open space and strategic location. This October saw three days of traditional and cultural reverberations at the National Tribal Carnival from 26th - 28th October, 2016 at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi. It's a celebration of our unique cultural diversity and creativity. Prime Minister Modi inaugurated the event on 25th October and stressed on the need of inclusion of tribal art. It makes the belief much stronger how each state in India is culturally rich and how vast is the wealth of various art patterns sprawled across the length and breadth of this nation. The market for these art and economic conditions of artists are abysmal so it's an initiative by the government to promote and facilitate the artists.
Hall No 7 hosting the Carnival had minimal visitors though it held some of the best treasures, showcasing talents from different parts of India. The spread of colours was beautiful and illuminating. The setup offered great photo opportunities to the select few visitors, who were less interested in art or artists. The tribals in their ethnic gear were obliging many and enjoying their moment of clicking glory. There were altogether 90 stalls broadly divided into three main categories; healers, art & craft and food.
Tribals are actually the original and first inhabitants of the earth and enjoy intimate relationship with nature. Nature too bears semblance with their simplicity and caters to the need of their sustenance. There were various herbal products on display locally procured and made from natural sources available around us. The sheesham tree bark has medicinal properties to control piles, similarly there were several vegetables too with many medicinal properties of which we are unaware. A common thread that runs between tribals residing in various parts of India is that they have an immense faith in the bounty of nature.
North East Indians primarily make wooden bowls, masks and baskets as one could see them displayed in the stalls of Assam, Manipur, Sikkim. Tribal art is though simple scores high on ethnicity. They are passed on from generations to generations untouched by modernisation.
Further conversations with many stall owners revealed that Ṭribal Art is an ethnic art primarily depicting ceremonies and festivities. It is the most primitive and Motifs depicted in the art are a mode of communication through symbols. The interpretation is wide and not limited to decoration alone. Warli has scenes of hunting, fishing, dance and everyday life / activities. Dhokra too has similar tales to tell. Phularo Devi in the Rajasthan stall was all wrapped up in a shawl to beat the chilly environs while Bhai Mansingh Rathwa, of GujratI Pithora painting stall, proudly showcased his art. His moustache was his greater proud possession too.
The steals for buyers were in the Odisha stalls ; as their work is widely acknowledged and purchased too. Jharkhand too had many products like sarees, kurtas, bangles, diyas but not many curious onlookers. It was a delight to see such an event where the police on duty could relax and chat like humans. What it lacked was a spokesperson for the wares on display, as most artists are too shy and turn recluse when they see a crowd. The platform can turn into a success story when the magic of marketing is woven into it. Cultural performances were held at the Hamsdhwani Theatre every evening. The event is truly a feast for Delhi and its dwellers. A visit is encouraged to witness, enjoy and purchase wares from various parts of India to adorn the spaces of your home and your heart. Lend your support to the Tribals - Buy their art & help their livelihood.
Featured Image Courtesy: OneIndia