For the reasons best known, Bhubaneswar is popularly called the “Temple City of India” or “City of Temples”. One gets to see the best of Kalinga architecture here. I remembered that like in any race for excellence, this city jealously out placed Cuttack in 1948 as the capital for its well-designed infrastructure. I was shaken from my thoughts when the door bell rang and Neetu, one of friends and the other being Pratiksha, ran to the door.
Our cab was ready and as planned our first visit was to the Museum of Tribal Art Artifacts, which is located just three kilometers from our stay. Though the museum has much to see, for me visiting a tourist spot is not just sightseeing, but it is about understanding the human species from the ancient age to the current one in one or the other ways.
The museum depicts the life and culture of tribes in Orissa. I liked the idea behind this, which nonchalantly rested on preserving the tribal cultures and spreading them across for better understanding. We were left aghast, when we learned there were approximately 1900 artifacts exhibited in the building. The building is divided into five halls, where a range of items such as “tribal dresses, jewelry, arts, musical instruments, hunting tools, dance items, weapons used for defense, dhokra things and photographs” were showcased.
I observed that all the above artifacts are kept under sections naming them so. It took us some time to figure out whom they belong to. The ornament and dress hall exhibited belongings of seventeen and eight tribes respectively, while the dhokra section has over 117 exhibits belonging to tribes such as Kondh, Dongria Kondh, etc.
We skittered from one hall to another hall enjoying the extensive collections. The arts section has photographs such as “shaman” and “anital” of Saora. Besides, I also stumbled upon the bamboo comb of
and Manduasim and Kateibali shrine crafts belonging to Saora and Dongria tribes respectively.
The best of all experiences that we had was the stay in the tribal hut, which helped us feel the tribal habitat in nature. I gazed at the last collections of the exhibits thinking hurriedly how Orissa has preserved the rich and diverse tribal cultures in their true sense.