In the year 2002 I was still in college and during that time, I had the wonderful opportunity to visit Koraput in Odisha. I was a part of a five-day student exchange program where I had a fantastic opportunity to meet other college students from Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha and West Bengal. During one of the field trip, we were taken to a tribal village and this one was not the typical tribal villages of Jharkhand but a village that belonged to the ‘Bonda Tribe’. To be specific we were visiting a specific branch of the tribe known as ‘Upper Bonda Tribe’ who lives in complete isolation from the rest of the nation.
We were given specific instructions regarding how we should interact, what we should and should not photograph and last but not the least not to give them any plastic bottles. There was even a government minder to oversee our field trip. I was allowed to click two photographs and till date, people wonder in disbelief if that was indeed a village in India or somewhere in Africa. Their dress, bead jewelry, and their food habits were very different from the rest of the region.
The reason we were told not to hand over plastic bottles as the government wanted to avoid any form of plastic pollution in that region and for the Bonda tribe people these plastic bottles were like a priceless commodity.
Coming back to the present time when I was visiting Odisha as a part of Cultural and Heritage Tour of the state organized by Times Passion Trails and Odisha Tourism I was well aware of some of the basic tribes of Odisha. On the very first day and the very first place that we visited as a part of the trip was to the Museum of Tribal Arts and Artifacts.
Tribal Museum Bhubaneswar
This museum as the name suggests is specifically designed to showcase the various tribes of Odisha. The museum is located in a big campus which also houses a training center and a hostel. The museum is not a new one as such since the original museum which was much smaller was started in the year 1953 but was updated and modernized in the year 2001.
Different Tribes of Odisha
- Bonda Paroja
- Desua Bhumij
- Kandha Gauda
- Kolah Loharas
- Koli Malhar
- Shabar Lodha
Sections in the TRibal Museum
The museum has five sections and each of these five sections are showcasing different objectives of the tribal life:-
- Hall 1 – Personal Adornments
- Hall 2 – Personal Belongings, Arts, Paintings & Photographs
- Hall 3 – Hunting & Fishing Implements & Weapons of Offence and Defense
- Hall 4 – Household Objects and Agricultural Implements
- Hall 5 – Dance, Musical Instruments and Dhokra Items
Tribal Museum – Hall 1 – Personal Adornments
Tribal Museum – Hall 2 – Personal Belongings, Arts, Paintings & Photographs
Tribal Museum – Hall 3 – Hunting & Fishing Implements & Weapons of Offence and Defense
TRibal Museum – Hall 4 – Household Objects and Agricultural Implements
TRibal Museum – Hall 5 – Dance, Musical Instruments and Dhokra Items
Tribal Museum – Open Air Exhibits
Location of Tribal Museum
Click here to open Google Maps