Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Tribal Art - Bastar

From the trip to Bastar. In an artshop in Jagadalpur. Jagadalpur is some 300Km from Raipur the capital city of Chattisgadh. My destination was Chitrakut water fall near Jagadalpur. I wanted to buy something for this memorable trip.

It was probably the only place where tribal life is not touched by the modernity. Everything preserved - tribal markets, costumes, cultivation, cattling, hutments, raw materials, forests and more importantly the art. I was fascinated by the fact that most of this art was so sophisticated and still not imitated in better part of the country. I admired the simplicity of those bronze and caste iron statues. It portrayed the life of the tribal in its most common circumstances, carrying water bags, carrying cut wood. The figurines were not clumsy or erotic. They looked very much living beings. The dieties they portrayed was even more astounding. Far from vedic mythological houses, the dieties were actually very home grown, they were either an animal or transformation of an animal-human.

I was fascinated by the similarity of these statues with the findings from the indus valley civilisation. The form and spirit they resembled some of them I found in the text books and history books. I felt probably this is pre vedic civilisation preserved for us in the tribal lands of chattisgadh. If pre vedic culture was indigenous, then it has to be something similar to this.

I have no sound footings to prove this..nor did I try to confirm my impressions. Its just like a hunch. Its there..

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