Another India

Explorations and Expressions of Indigenous South Asia

8 March 2017 to 22 April 2018

Li Ka Shing Gallery, MAA

‘Another India is the only India we Adivasis know. Another India is our India.’

Ruby Hembrom Adivasi writer & publisher, 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another India is a unique exhibition exploring the heritage of India’s minority Adivasi (‘original inhabitants’) or Indigenous communities through the collections of the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology.

Two hundred artefacts and photographs from the Museum’s historic collections are shown alongside 23  new artworks by Indigenous and Adivasi artists from across India, commissioned and purchased with support of a New Collecting Award from Art Fund.

Bell metal statue of an elephant carrying a deity in a howdah on its back. Bastar region, Chhattisgarh, India. Collector unknown. MAA Z 20345

Focusing on communities known variously as Indigenous, ‘Tribal’ or Adivasi (literally ‘original inhabitants’), the exhibition showcases extraordinary and fascinating objects, many of which tell equally intriguing stories. From the Nagas and other peoples in the hills of Northeast India to the Gonds, Todas and Chenchus of the South and the  Santals and Bhils in the East and West of the country, the displays will present strikingly diverse stories of India, collecting, colonialism and British involvement in the subcontinent.

Head-taker's ornament worn on the chest by a Konyak Naga man, northeast India. In a glass presentation case. Collected by J.H. Hutton. MAA 1950.679

Head-taker’s ornament worn on the chest by a Konyak Naga man, northeast India. In a glass presentation case. Collected by J.H. Hutton. MAA 1950.679

Some of these stories offer different perspectives on histories that are well known. Others deal with less well-known, and sometimes difficult, moments in the shared history of India and the UK. All present versions of India very different from that familiar to most people in Britain – and perhaps in India too.

Ocean of Blood. Bokli Nageshwar Rao, 2016. Commissioned with Art Fund Support. MAA 2017.11

Another India is the centrepiece of the University’s India Unboxed season. To mark the UK-India Year of Culture 2017, the University of Cambridge Museums and Botanic Garden, are hosting a shared season on the theme of India with a programme of exhibitions, events, digital encounters, discussions, installations and more within the museums and the city of Cambridge. Rooted in the Cambridge collections, the programme will explore themes of identity and connectivity for audiences in both the UK and India.

Terracotta horse from Rajasthan. Collected by Maya Unnithan-Kumar. MAA 1988.206

Terracotta horse from Rajasthan. Collected by Maya Unnithan-Kumar. MAA 1988.206

The Exhibition has been generously supported by the University of Cambridge, the Pilgrim Trust and Art Fund.

A Press Release for the exhibition is available here. A catalogue to accompany the exhibition, written by Mark Elliott and co-published by MAA in the UK and Adivaani/One of Us in India, is available on the University of Cambridge Online Store.

 

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