Virtual Exhibition
NY 1998
Page:  5.1A

Sunil Janah
Photographing India, 1939-1978
Exhibition, NY 1998

NY98 Section 5
The Land and the People
 

5.1
The Tribals of India
5.1A: Illustrated Text

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Section 5, panels 1-5
 

NY98 SECTION 5:   THE LAND AND THE PEOPLE

5.1:   THE TRIBALS OF INDIA

Muria belusha (headgirl)
of Binjli ghotul, Bastar, 
Chhattisgarh, Central India  

The "tribals", the survivors of the earlier inhabitants of India, are to the subcontinent what the American "Indians" (First Americans) are to North and South America.  The "Aryans" and others from the north, who settled in India at the dawn of history, could not, however, drive the indigenous people to near extinction by genocide, as occurred, much later, in the new worlds of the Americas and Australia.  Some were absorbed into the caste structures of the mainstream.   Others were able to retain their distinctive ways and languish away in the inhospitable deserts, hills and forests, while the rich fertile plains were taken over by the new settlers.
    Muria belusha (headgirl) of Binjli ghotul,
    Bastar, Chhattisgarh, Central India, 1950's.

Muria boy in front 
of a ghotul mud wall
decorated with patterns 
and bas reliefs. Bastar, 
Chhattisgarh, Central India

I had been enticed by the tribals' friendliness and hospitality to visit and live amongst them, in all parts of India.  The Murias, from the Bastar plateau in Central India, occupy more than one panel because my friend Dr. Verrier Elwin's book, "The Muria and their Ghotul", had intrigued me and, even after three visits lasting as many months, I feel that I would be happy to go back.

- Sunil Janah, 1998

See also:  


Muria boy in front of      
a ghotul's  decorated        
mud  wall,  in  Bastar,      
Chhattisgarh, Central       
India, 1950's.                   


 

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Tribals
Illustrated Text
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Tribals
Sect. 5, panels 1-5
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Photographs & Text - © Sunil Janah 1940-2004
Exhibition, Panel Design - Ram Rahman 1998
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