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Kedia, Tulika

The Poetics and Politics of Indian Folk and Tribal Art

Issue #005, Summer, 2020                                                                       ISSN: 2581- 9410

  Being born and having lived in India for most of my life, the presence of Folk and Tribal objects and cultures has been ubiquitous, perennial and peripheral. It is a concoction not unknown to others but truly unique in its manifestation in the Indian sub-continent. Having hosted various civilizations and cultures over centuries, each different from the other, some local and other foreign, India has had a dual privilege, both with diversity and continuity. All formats of cultural production-from large kingdoms, to various land and sea trade routes to ancient tribal indigenous groups, all survive to this day in their contemporary rendition. This diversity, more often than not, can trace its journey back to its source of origin or transmission. Such centuries old cultures are not only historically linked to India but continue to be part of the contemporary life in India. And this in my opinion provides for a unique opportunity towards understanding cultures, not only as remnants of the past but living entities of the present times with a role to play in the future. My earliest engagement with folk and tribal objects and people started at a young age among a family of Tea estate owners who were ardent art collectors. Kolkata had been...
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