If this rare Kolkata museum shuts down, Bengal will lose a part of its soul

#1 Feb 26th, 2018, 21:43
Join Date:
Dec 2008
In the land of awesomeness
  • aarosh is offline

Palm leaf manuscripts with covers | Shrutakirti Dutta

The Gurusaday Museum has the air of being something tucked away, even though it stands in plain view in the middle of a large landscaped garden just off Diamond Harbour Road in the south-west part of Kolkata. If the lights are already on in the exhibition rooms when you enter, it has been a busier day than usual for your ever-obliging guide, Churamoni Hati, and if you seem even vaguely interested, he will start by explaining to you that the museum has on display six different forms of kantha (usually embroidered or patchwork cloth articles handcrafted by reusing older pieces of clothing): sujni, durjani, baitan, arshilata, rumal, and lep.

Unfortunately, the museum, an important repository of indigenous crafts of undivided Bengal, is facing untimely closure.

The most prized kantha in their collection stands in the middle of the main hall. It is a double-sided sujni kantha from Khulna district of Bengal, dating back to the 19th century. It was made by Srimati Manadasundari Dasya of Jangal Badhal. Almost encyclopedic in its ambition, the kantha depicts 19th century Bengali society complete with views from the andar and bahir-mahal (private and public quarters of the house), a hunting scene, cars, wild animals, fantastic flowers, flanked by Indian soldiers carrying bayonets and British soldiers carrying swords. The embroidery is exquisite. “Could the bayonets refer to the Great Uprising of 1857?” Hati speculates.

On the right-hand side of the main hall you find their collection of patachitra (painted scrolls meant to illustrate oral storytelling) from 16th century onwards, depicting regional versions of mythic tales. Today the scrolls hang inside glass cases, static and mute, divorced from their original purpose, alongside their urbanised brethren, the 19th century Kalighat pat-s from Kolkata. The museum holds palm leaf manuscripts, both handwritten and printed, as well as richly crafted manuscript covers from the 16th century depicting the Dasamahavidya and Dasavatara.

But before exploring further, let us see how this unique collection was assembled.
#2 May 31st, 2018, 23:21
Join Date:
Aug 2016
  • travtasy is offline
I agree with your thoughts.
#3 Jun 1st, 2018, 00:42
Join Date:
Sep 2001
Land that shakes and bakes.
  • edwardseco is offline
I must get to Bengal to see this particular item..
#4 Jun 1st, 2018, 19:38
Join Date:
Aug 2006
  • fsg is offline
Does india care about its heritage?

Or does the govt body think about it also.

Answers please on a postage stamp

As there is no answer except corruption,

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