Museum Day Celebration 2018 at Bishnubati

By: Boro Baski
09.01.2019 News

The 5th Museum Day was celebrated on 9th December 2018 at Bishnubati. To create awareness and educate the people about the importance of their cultural heritage the Ghosaldanga Bishnubati Adibasi Trust (GBAT) and the Museum of Santal Culture (MSC), Bishnubati, has been organizing a Museum Day since 2014.

This year, the theme of the programme has been The Melodies of the BANAM. This is a one-string wooden music instrument, akin to the lute or fiddle. The art of banam-making and playing is gradually lost from the collective memory of the Santals. Therefore the GBAT and MSC, in collaboration with the Museum of Cultural History, University of Oslo, had organized a banam-making workshop in August 2018. Sixteen banam-makers from the Districts of Birbhum, Hooghly and Purulia participated and produced beautifully artistic banams. The completed banams were unveiled during the Museum Day celebration and played before the audience for the first time by the banam-makers


Besides presenting the banams, the elders of Bishnubati and Ghosaldanga village presented some traditional Santals songs that are rarely sung nowadays. A Karam group headed by Karam guru Rabon Baski, who presents the Santal mythology through recitation, songs and dances also presented various songs related to the rituals of birth, marriage and death. Students of the RSV school and the junior leaders also presented a Dasai dance and a Santali play respectively.


The chief guest of the celebration was Dr. Ratan Hembram, Head, Dept. of Santali & Member, Centre for Adivasi Studies and Museum, Vidyasagar University, Midnapur. The special guests of the programme were Prof. Ranjana Roy, formerly Dept. of Anthropology, Calcutta University; Dr. Doneshwar Manjhi, Head, Dept. of Santali, Visva-Bharati, Santiniketan; Mr. Som Murmu, traditional banam-maker and -player, Bekajol, Birbhum; Prof. Debasis K. Mondal, Dept. of Anthropology, Calcutta University; Prof. Kumkum Bhattacharya and Prof. Ranjit Bhattacharya, Santiniketan; Mr. Samiran Nandy, Santiniketan; Dr. Santosh Kr. Soren, Kolkata; Mr. Sunder Manoj Hembrom, Bandel; Prof. Sudipto Mukherjee, Baharampur; Mr. Rahul Bose, Khanjanpur, and the villagers and students of Ghosaldanga and Bishnubati.

The programme started in the afternoon and ended at midnight with common dance and music by the villagers.

Some photos of the celebration are attached. Courtesy Sunder Manoj Hembrom and Boro Baski.