Date: Dilli Haat
Venue: 16-30 November 2017
The tribes are considered to be the earliest inhabitants of our landmass. They are consequently called “Aadivasi” (the earliest inhabitants). No surprise they have a huge repertoire of music, art, handloom and handicraft that has surprised city dwellers since forever. Most of such items were not designed for decorative purpose. In fact, they had evolved as textiles and households objects used in daily life or as votive elements. We have had a glimpse of some such goods during various crafts fairs such as Surajkund Crats Mela, Dastkar festivals, Bharat Parv and so on.
Tribes, an organisation under the aegis of Ministry of Tribal Affairs, Government of India, has brought together a host of artisans from tribal communities across the country at Aadi Mahotsav. Craftspeople from various corners of our gorgeous country – from Kashmir to Kerala and Gujarat to Assam-Manipur-Nagaland have assembled at Dilli Haat, INA. They have brought along a rich collection of textiles, ornaments, winter wear, utensils, statues, decor pieces that exude a certain rustic beauty. While some of the items have been crafted to fit into modern urban life, others still retain a certain indigenous innocence. Cherry on the icing is the cultural performances that are being held at the amphitheatre as well as random spots at the venue.
Traditional communities in India did not have much practice of documenting their skills. Much of their traditional knowledge have been transmitted aurally or through training from one generation to the next. Consequently many such invaluable nuggets of skills and knowledge have been lost over time. There have been various efforts in modern times through law and enforcement to preserve some of the traditional knowledge. Geographical Indication (G.I. link) is one such significant legal step. However, it is too little too late.
Nonetheless, the rich display at more than 150 stalls in Aadi Mahotsav is a reassuring reflection that we still have so much to enjoy. And preserve. We may do our two bits worth by visiting such events and helping in preserving our traditional knowledge and skills. To this end, Aadi Parv is a Fun-Do indeed and preservation or not, the sheer happiness quotient at the event is worth a shot.