[Assam] London Museum exhibition featuring Assam
rebuena at hotmail.com
Thu Jul 12 17:17:03 CDT 2007
Hello everyone, ki khobor?
I am an ethnomusicology masters student at the School of Oriental and
African Studies (SOAS) in London, and my dissertation research is focused on
Bihu as celebrated in Assam and abroad. I attended the London Rongali Bihu
festival this year and was very warmly welcomed.
I am now writing to formally invite anyone with an interest in and/or
knowlege of Assamese culture to participate in a community meeting at the
Horniman Museum to discuss plans for the Assam section of the museum's
upcoming exhibition: Utsavam - Music from India. I will present film
footage taken by the museum in Majuli featuring different kinds of bihu
dance as well as sattriya dance and lok geet to provoke discussion about the
importance of celebrating Assamese culture abroad and to generate ideas for
community participation in the upcoming exhibition.
The community meeting will take place at the Horniman Museum on
Saturday, the 21st of July from 2:00pm to 4:00pm.
The Horniman Museum is located at:
100 London Road
London SE23 3PQ
A map can be found at http://www.horniman.ac.uk/visiting/getting.php
If you are interested in attending, please let me know either by email
(rebuena at hotmail.com) or by phone (07872187634) so we can make sure there
are enough refreshments for everyone! And please don't hesitate to contact
me if you have any questions or any information that might be useful to me
in my dissertation research.
A draft of the exhibition description follows below.
Thank you very much.
UTSAVAM - MUSIC FROM INDIA
While Hindustani (North Indian) classical music is appreciated in many
musical circles in the west, and Bollywood film music has an even wider
global audience, the music of the rural-dwelling majority of the population
of India, including the Adivasi (indigenous) groups remains relatively
unknown. In 2008 the Horniman plans to hold a major exhibition showcasing a
new collection of musical instruments from rural areas of India, and
associated musical traditions. The involvement of members of London-based
communities of Indian heritage is envisaged as a key element of the
exhibition. In the course of the next few weeks we shall be establishing the
remit of a community project to be held in association with the exhibition.
The majority of the instruments identified for the exhibition were collected
for the Museum during the course of three fieldwork projects carried out
between 2001 and 2005, which were organised jointly by the Horniman and the
British Library National Sound Archive. Two researchers, Rolf Killius and
Jutta Winkler, collected and documented musical instruments for the Horniman
Museum and made broadcast quality audio and video recordings of the music
played on them for the BLNSA.
The exhibition will provide glimpses of the cultural, musical and linguistic
diversity of the sub-continent, since the musicians and musical instrument
makers whose work will be presented are representative of the four main
language groups of India (Dravidian, Indo-Aryan, Tibeto-Burman and
Austroasiatic). Represented in the exhibition will be the performance arts
of the temple musicians and priests of rural Kerala, musician-farmers of the
villages of the Sora groups, who are among the Adivasi (indigenous
minorities) of Orissa and Andhra Pradesh, members of fishing and farming
communities on the island of Majuli in Assam, and communities of farmers and
artisans in the mountains of Arunachal Pradesh on the border with China.
Using the wealth of photos, videos, and audio recordings, made during the
course of the acquisition project, each section of the exhibition will
convey information about the geographical, social and cultural environments
in which the musicians from the four different areas of India work and make
music. Some of the proposed themes for the exhibition: Temples and shrines
of the coastal plain, The Island, The hills and forests, and The
Mountain will reflect the contrasting terrains that are the sources for
many of the raw materials for instruments.
The Museum will also be incorporating of a new collection of traditional
instruments from Punjab in the exhibition. The sounds and rhythms of these
instruments, notably the dhol and the toombi, are integral to the music of
The Horniman Museum celebrated its centenary in 2001, and now holds a
collection of over 8,000 musical instruments from all over the world. The
exhibition will also provide an opportunity to showcase of the Horniman
Museums older collections of instruments, some of which date back to the
mid-19th century. The exhibition will draw on the wealth of material in the
Horniman Museums Anthropology collection. It is anticipated that a lively
programme of performances, workshops and related events will be held in
conjunction with the exhibition.
More information about the assam