Bamboo writing steals show at museum

Bamboo was at the centre of life in Wayanad, Kerala. The people of the region used bamboo to build houses, make boats and fishing nets, and, more importantly, to pass their knowledge gained from experience to the next generation. A 17th century bamboo writing in Malayalam is the centre of attraction at the free week-long exhibition at the Government museum in Egmore on Wednesday.

“Ancient Chinese knew the art of writing on bamboo and wood while in south India, inhabitantsof Wayanaddid it many centuries ago. Bamboo is light and repels insects. Also, bamboo was cultivated extensively in Wayanad,” museum commissioner, S S Jawahar, told TOI.

The exhibition, which is part of the celebration of UNESCO’s World Heritage Week (November 19-25), displays rare collections showing the cultural life of residents of erstwhile Madras Presidency at the ground floor of the contemporary art building in the museum. With the theme of “Cultural Unity of India”, the exhibition would showcase the cultures of indigenous tribes and other communities. The exhibition would be open between 10am and 4.30pm on all days.

A novelty is a pair of giant leather shoes 2.5 feet long and 1.5 feet wide donated by the Madiga community of Andhra Pradesh to Tirupati temple. As leather products were considered polluted and inauspicious, temple authorities gave the shoes to the museum in the late 19th century.

“Another attraction is wood carving done by Saoras of Andhra Pradesh and done in the shape of an animal or an object.Brass items of a farmer with a set of bullocks, and a yoke and plough that belong to Tulu-speaking community of Karnataka are also being displayed,” said C Maheshwaran, curator, anthropology section of the museum.

Source: Times of India

Posted on November 24, 2011, in Events and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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