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Unheard Creativity of Tribal Women

Voices of Santhal tribal in Chotanagpur are heard whenever there is a witch hunting or inter caste marriage or rape or land grabbed by greedy urban politest. Their voice again becomes rhetoric whenever leaders lead them taking advantage of their poverty and misery. Their words are to a lesser degree voiced and protested whenever they are ousted from own territory for urbanization or development. This practice of voicing tribal cases is an age-long tradition.
Of late, their songs, flutes, music, gay dance and dialects have also become our special tastes in occasions. However, this context is different and unheard. Voices of tribal women transpiring on walls.

Recently I visited some tribal villages in Purulia- an off-shoot of Chotonagpur plateau. Purulia is a hub of tribals of diverse groups and culture. I shall restrict to the voices of Nildi Majhi gram. A beautiful village is situated beneath a small hillock-Nildi. Nature and people live in together. There is always conflict and harmony between them. Amidst their natural life-style I was struck to the majestic walls of their houses. All houses are made of natural materials. These are mud-houses. Cleaned and attractively walls decorated with designs and arts. All those are creative objects of Santhal Women. I was spellbound how they make such wall murals with home-made ingredients. These wall paintings reflect the inner voices of simple women. They highlight the co-existence of nature with community. They portray the birds, flowers, animals and other living organisms surrounding their habitat. Those Santhal women are born artists. They have no formal art-training. They do not know the chemicals being used in wall murals. They only know to voice their feeling. They are peace loving guys. Eyes become cool to see their paints made from mud. Sometimes I feel those Santhal women are regarded un-skilled in every sphere. No body dares to share their skill-knowledge in city or towns giving them the task of creating murals. Their story remains unheard. Their culture, knowledge and values not being used in creating knowledge-based society.



I am a strong believer in the power of art to effect positive change. These women have a beautiful lifestyle and a wonderful artistic talent that deserves recognition in the world! If I owned a home I would LOVE to have carvings and murals on the walls just like these. Especially in this day of environmental awareness, I think their style of home building and decorating, which honors their natural surroundings and helps to blend the appearance of their houses into a harmonious part of the landscape, would find many supporters around the world. While their lives and lifestyles sound perfect as they are, the world moves quickly and things change fast - we don't want them to be left behind or displaced, but to find a recognition in this world so their talents are honored and they can make heard their voice, which could help many learn to live more naturally and yet beautifully in sustainable relationships with the land. I hope you will find a way to help them market their inspiring creative talent to the world in a way that will improve their lives. Thank you for sharing the art of the Santhal women, Arabinda! Congratulations for being the first to sing the praises of these unsung talents!

mitraprof's picture



Thank you for your inspiring comments. Those Santhal women whom I visited recently are really excellent in art-making using natural inputs. Their houses are also eco-friendly. In India it is difficult to get their talents rewarded.however, I shall try to explore markets for them at my capacity.
Appreciating your interest I thank you once more.

arabinda mitra

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