ऑनलाइन प्रदर्शनी श्रृंखला – Online Exhibition Series-37

ऑनलाइन प्रदर्शनी श्रृंखला -37
(25 फरवरी, 2021)

इन्दिरा गांधी राष्ट्रीय मानव संग्रहालय अपनी स्थापना के समय से ही मानव जाति की गाथा को, समय और स्थान के परिप्रेक्ष्य में दर्शाने में संलग्न है। संग्रहालय भारतीय विरासत के संरक्षण, सवर्धन और पुनरुद्धार पर केंद्रित है। इसकी अंतरंग और मुक्ताकाश प्रदर्शनियाँ देश भर में रहने वाले विभिन्न समुदायों की लुप्त प्रायः स्थानीय संस्कृतियों की प्रासंगिकता को प्रदर्शित करती है। इस महामारी के दौरान सभी को अपने साथ डिजिटल रूप से जोड़ने के उद्देश्य से इं.गाँ.रा.मा.सं. 200 एकड़ में प्रदर्शित अपने प्रादर्शों को ऑनलाइन प्रदर्शित करने हेतु एक नई श्रृंखला प्रस्तुत कर रहा है। प्रदर्शनी का मुख्य उद्देश्य पारंपरिक जीवन शैली के विभिन्न सौंदर्य गुणों और आधुनिक समाज में इसकी निरंतरता को उजागर करना है।

श्रृंखला के मुख्य आकर्षण में जनजातीय आवास, हिमालयी गांव, मरु ग्राम और तटीय गांव की मुक्ताकाश प्रदर्शनियों में दर्शायी गयी पारंपरिक वास्तु विविधता है। पारंपरिक तकनीकी पार्क मुक्ताकाश प्रदर्शनी में सरल तकनीकी के माध्यम से प्राकृतिक संसाधनों का उपयोग करने में रचनात्मक कौशल को दर्शाया गया है। शैल कला धरोहर प्रदर्शनी प्रागैतिहासिक काल के दौरान मानव विचारों और संचार की अभिव्यक्ति का एक उल्लेखनीय उदाहरण है। पुनीत वन प्रदर्शनी जैव विविधता के संरक्षण के पारंपरिक तरीकों को प्रदर्शित करती है। मिथक वीथि मुक्ताकाश प्रदर्शनी में विभिन्न समुदायों के दैनिक जीवन से संबंधित कथाओं का चित्रण देखा जा सकता है। कुम्हार पारा प्रदर्शनी, भारत की मिट्टी के बर्तनों और टेराकोटा परंपराओं पर केंद्रित है।

वीथि संकुल- अंतरंग संग्रहालय भवन की 12 दीर्घाओं में मानव संस्कृतियों के विविध पहलुओं को दर्शाया गया है। इसके मुख्य आकर्षण में भारत सहित दुनिया भर से संकलित प्रादर्शों को मॉडल, ग्राफिक्स, डायरोमास, शोकेसेस के माध्यम से विषयवार प्रस्तुत किया गया है।

Online Exhibition Series-37
(25th February, 2021)

Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Manav Sangrahalaya engaged to portray the story of humankind in time and space since its inception. The Museum focuses on salvaging and revitalization of Indian heritage. Its indoor as well as open-air exhibitions showcase the relevance of the vanishing local culture of the different communities living across the country. With the aim of connecting everyone digitally during this pandemic, the IGRMS is presenting a new series of online exhibitions of its exhibit displayed across 200 acres. The main aim of the exhibition is to highlight the varied aesthetic qualities of the traditional lifestyle and its continuity in modern society.

The main attraction of the series includes the depiction of vernacular architectural diversity portrayed in the open air exhibitions of Tribal Habitat, Himalayan Village, Desert Village and Coastal Village. The Traditional Technology Park open air exhibition depicts the creative skills in using natural resources through simple technology. Rock Art Heritage open air exhibition is a remarkable example of expression of human thoughts and communication during the prehistoric times. The Sacred Grove open air exhibition showcases the traditional practices and way of conserving the bio-diversity. The depiction of narratives or stories related to every day life of various communities can be seen in Mythological Trail open air exhibition. The Kumhar Para open air exhibition focuses on the pottery and the terracotta traditions of India.

The indoor museum building Veethi Sankul houses 12 galleries depicting the diverse facets of human cultures. Its main attraction includes the thematically arranged galleries with models, graphics, diaromas, showcases, panels of the valuable ethnographic collections of the museum from different parts of India and abroad.

जनजातीय आवास मुक्ताकाश प्रदर्शनी से
रहांकी: मराम नागा जनजाति का युवा गृह

From the Tribal Habitat open air exhibition
Rahanki : the Boy’s Dormitory of the Maram Naga Tribe

The Tribe

The Maram Naga is largely distributed in the Senapati District of Manipur. According to the 2001 census their population in the state was 37340 (Manorama Yearbook 2012). Out of the many villages inhabited by the Maram tribe, the Willong Khullen village is considered to be the second-largest village. Traditionally, each village was ruled by their respective chieftains and the post of a village chief was purely hereditary and is chosen by the rule of primogeniture i.e. the eldest son successively inherits the post of the father. In the olden days, taxes were levied to the revered chief in the form of Mpak Pai (shawl), paddy, etc. but these systems are no more in practice today. Thus the present-day chief is just a nominal head of the village but the village council/ elders decide whom to give tax. However, as a traditional chief, he still holds authority over religious rights and it is under his permission that the traditional religious observances are commenced.

Willong Khullen Village

The Willong Khullen village is approximately 116 northwest of Imphal and it is reached via NH 39 turning to the west from the Maram Khullen Lamkhai (Junction). The Barak River meanders the route on its northwesterly and provides a breathtaking view of its scenic river basin. The village is located spur of a hill giving an enchanting view of the village from a distance. It is said that the name of the village is derived from an indigenous flowering tree called Maguilongi which were abundantly available on the hill slopes around the village. Later, it became connoted with a corrupt word as Uilong or Willong. The village is well known for its large assemblage of more than a hundred megalithic monuments in the village land. It serves as an important center for traditional sport, and also links with the institutional practices of the boy’s dormitory.

The Dormitories

Maram villages used to have dormitories separately for the boys and girls. In these dormitories, boys and girls spend a certain period of their lives, after attaining puberty, learning ethics and the lessons of life from informal teachers or the in-charge of the respective dormitories. The dormitories are learning centers for both the boys and girls who voluntarily participate and give service to the various social, religious, and economic activities of the village. Traditionally, boys are skillfully trained to become vigilant and watchful for protecting the village from enemy attacks or raids.

Rahanki- the Boy’s Dormitory

Rahanki is the boy’s dormitory and a Maram Naga village may have one or more dormitories depending upon the size and population of the village. A married man with family is appointed as caretaker of the boy’s dormitory. No women except the wife of the caretaker are allowed to enter the boys’ dormitory. If such rules are breached, a heavy fine is imposed. The distinguishable feature of Rahanki is the presence of a triangular frieze of the front gable that reaches the ground. It is painted with black and white geometric motif that comes into the first sight of the house. The two massive structures hewed out of the single tree as the gable is uniquely twined with jungle vine and locked by a decorative piece of wooden motif representing the beak of a hornbill. Another feature is the presence of two entrance doors, one meant for the caretaker and his family, while the other is exclusively used by the boys who live in the dormitory. In a family, after the birth of a child, until he/she attains three years; the family has to offer wine (rice beer) to the respective clan of that particular Rahanki, on two occasions i.e. Lamsham (road cleaning day) and Rakak (observance for the dead). It was performed to give gratitude to the elders and seeking blessings for the baby. Once the child grew up, boys of the same age will from their parents. Boys will be taught benevolent service for the society.

Division of space in the dormitory

The dormitory has a big hall inside with a central fireplace. The rear extension of the hall separated by a wall is devoted to the Caretaker, his wife, and small children. A space to the side of the right side wall is reserved as the sleeping place for the boys. Traditionally, a huge Bedstead of big trees with wheels is installed in this space as a symbol of pride and valor. The space along the left side of the wall is a pounding place. It has a front verandah where craftwork is employed to the members in their leisure hours.

Carved Motifs and their meanings

The front wall décor of wooden panels are filled with details of carvings having elaborate meanings. The main pillar which is supported by two identical sub-ordinate pillars has carved on high relief with colorful paintings on it. Besides, the massive vertical planks used as filling elements of the front wall also bear engraved motifs with elaborate meanings.

Symbol of warriors on the pillars

The main pillar is called Shingdhi while the other two supporting pillars are called Shingpah. The central space of these three pillars displays three motifs of warriors in their traditional attire and headgears holding their weapons, insignias, and human head and shield in their hands. They are shown standing above the Mithun head, symbolizing victory over warfare, bravery status, and achievement of the warriors.

Chinka Ki & Abuika Peak (Head of the Pillar)

The top portions of the pillars have the representation of human-head motif called Chinka Ki. It is followed by the symbolic presentation of a pair of Mithun’s horns called Abuika Peak which is traditionally used for drinking wine for joy in their festive mood. A projected motif in between these two symbols represents the beak of a hornbill (Kok tzii Mui) which is regarded as the symbol of valour among the Naga tribe.

Kadat (Decorative Horizontal Plank)

On the top of the entrance door and in between the main pillar (Chingdi) and two sub-ordinate pillars (Chingpa), horizontal planks are bridged with intricate carvings of the human head. It is called Kadat in their language. It expresses their spirit of unity and bravery to stand ready for warfare with enemies and bring their heads in the feuds.

Kahang (An indication of the rule of Rahanki)

Above the horizontal plank (Kahang), the motif of a Kahang (wild deer) is carved. It signifies that any wild animal hunted from the forest is dedicated to the male of his clan in the Rahanki. This head meat is permitted to be eaten by the males only. The meat is cooked in a particular clan’s pot and hangs from the attic of the Rahanki. It is taboo for the girls to touch these pots. In a group hunting game, apart from the hunter, one who touches the animal first is entitled to slain the animal, the head will be taken to his respective Rahanki.

Bamrak (Seat of the protective spirits)

All these three pillars endorse a common motif called Bamrak, a geometrical structure, metaphorically represented to be the thorax and legs of the pillar. It symbolizes their traditional resting/ meeting place called Sakyii Nat. On the hilly terrain, the Maram Naga tribe used to construct resting places by erecting stones on the hilltop. It is used by them as the resting place in their long journey. It is also believed that Sakyii Nat has watchful eyes of their ancestral spirit who protect them from any kind of unwanted incidences. This motif on the pillar is regarded as the seat of the protective spirit who safeguards their house from the evil forces.

Engraved figures on the planks Maga Kafii Shing (Trophies of achievements and rule of punishment)

It is a vertical panel consisting of four symbolic motifs. The lower portion of this panel is represented by a symbol of the star with seven spikes in a circle. It is called Sang Gai Thi, and deeply associated with the customary laws of punishment. Any crime of a person is punished within the prescribed seven laws of the tribe. The others are the trophies a person can achieve with his skillful act of warfare.

The prize of hunting ability and the rule of adornment in the dormitory

This panel also has four motifs signifying the rule of what is to be adorned in the dormitory. The symbol of deer specifies the rule of bringing the head of a hunted animal. Below this, a hand of the land-lady of Rahanki is shown serving wine. It is an indication of the prize for successful hunting. The third motif shows a person holding a bowl. It relates to the wealth of a person who hunted wild boar. The last motif of the panel indicates the symbol of a wild boar. The one who has hunted wild boar must decorate the head in the dormitory as an inscription of his hunting ability.

The figure of a male instructor

The figure of a male instructor is portrayed with his attire and belonging. He is regarded as the moral instructor that could inspire the dormitory members to know about the way of adorning pride possessions and achievements.

The figure of a Lady with her carrying basket

A lady carrying a scepter on one hand and a basket with a container behind are shown to exhibit the beauty of Maram lady in her traditional attire and ornaments.

Sangaiti & Sakii (Symbol of Sun, Moon and Constellation)

The heavenly symbols of Sun and Moon and Constellation on either side of the wall reveals their traditional wisdom of calculating the appropriate time of agricultural activities and celebration of festivals.

Rahanki mirrors the past traditions and values of the Maram Naga tribe. Although this traditional institution of the past legacies still exists among the tribe, it started gradually transforming to tune with the modern livelihood.

Introductory video on the Tribal Habitat open air exhibition– Rahanki : the Boy’s Dormitory of the Maram Naga Tribe