“GramaKarnataka”: A Folklore Museum is a major project launched by the university to fulfil its objectives to work beyond its usual research works such as identifying, collecting, studying native traditional techniques. This museum serves as a storehouse to depict the material culture of this land. This has given an opportunity to the university to expand its horizon beyond just research and teaching. It makes a permanent centre for study of material culture. Through this the university can show its ‘Janamukhi’ face, that is ‘for the people approach’ of the university.
Now, the concept of museum considered as representing lifeless stagnant structure is totally changed. The definition of museum is rewritten. “Grama Karnataka - A Folklore museum is a physical storehouse of material culture ready for further studies”. Therefore, the university has considered this as a major work to be given top priority. Through the study of material culture one can understand the knowledge level of human beings in various stages and also we can understand the different phases he has passed through. This is possible by the scientific and systematic study of the equipments used by him. Collection of such equipments, arranging, classifying them and making way for research helps this museum to become a major asset. This museum is another way of becoming a centre for native knowledge source house.
The University aims to collect materials from all the corners of the state. At the initial stage four field assistants are collecting the materials from Shiggavi, Ranebennur and Haveri Taluks. So far they have collected more than 5000 artifacts. There is a plan to expand the collection work to all the villages of the state. University has a plan to build an open air museum in a vast land of 10 acres in the main campus near Gotagodi. Later it should become a major tourist attraction. The museum has been conceptualized in a different way from the usual structure of museums. The major interest is to bring scientific methods to be employed in collection and preservation so as to support good research work in this regard. The materials related to agricultural equipments such as Kurige, Battaralery, (seed distributer), Negilu (plough) etc, items used in worship, ornaments, costumes etc arranged with scientific classification will help researchers for studies and also attracting the general visitors. The university’s aim of reaching the community’ is possible through this project.
The field assistants are visiting every village and are trying to communicate to the villagers about the objective behind this work. This has become a ‘Face for the outerworld’ of this university.
The museum is getting the objects from the common folk. Therefore, it is having a responsibility of expanding as a model museum, which is more useful to the members of all folk communities. This depicts the life style of our ancestors, the utensils and other equipments used by them. There will be arrangement for giving description of all such items, which helps in educating the viewers about the artifacts displayed. At the time of exhibiting the artifacts the details relating to the Donor, the village to which it belongs, the context of its use, the method of preparation, all the details will be shown in a chart displayed with it. For example, a wooden hand is used to prepare a sweet rice-bath called ’Huggi’. The wood used here is by name “Ingalara’, because that tree has some medicinal value which keeps the food fresh for several hours. Every artifact will be photographed and the details will be preserved in digital form as well. This helps to show them to the kids of next generation also. This is another method of transmitting knowledge. A museum helps as a knowledge store house about traditional knowledge systems. This is a data store house for the Researchers, Students and Teachers. We can even experiment different methods of use for these old type of equipments with specific improvisations to make them suitable for use in the present period.
Folk have identified the methods of getting more comforts, happiness, good health and required foodstuff at very affordable prices. Today everything appears very costly. There is a dire need of simplifying our life style. We have to use the equipments which can help us to nullify the effects of globalisation. Then we can prepare many such items from the background knowledge of our folk practices. This is possible by the proper use of a museum. With the help and guidance of senior scholars university has plans to collect the materials to depict the socio-economic and cultural life structures of our native land. In this direction we have a great desire of establishing a model native folklore museum here.
Grama Karnataka : The Details of Folk Artifacts preserved at our Museum
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