Thursday, August 18, 2011

Tribal wealth

Awareness of tribal culture and heritage

VARUN SHARMA, 14 JUL 2010                                                                                                                                                              

Dr. Savitha Uday has been closely associated with North Canara tribes and is working towards the preservation of their culture and tradition.

The Halakki tribe of North Canara district.
The Halakki Tribe. Pic: Dr Savitha Uday

The North Canara district in Karnataka is home to a number of tribes like the Gondas, Gawlis, Siddhis and Halakkis. Dr. Savitha Uday has done extensive research on the tribes and her PhD thesis was based on “Prasadhna Kale” (study of the ornaments and costumes of tribes). She says, “I was inspired to work in this field because of my parents. They have published 70 books in Kannada about uttara kannada tribes’, their lives, food, culture, medicinal plants etc.
 I realized that to create awareness about the tribes, I needed to translate the books written by my parents to English. I also intend build bridge between urban and the rural through various study programmes. and revive the art and craft skill set that they are now in the verge of dying . I, in no way, wish to commercialize the activity by creating a factory-like model but would create value for their products and help these people preserve their tradition”.
The folklore museum, Folklore Kannaja
The folklore museum@ Honnavar Pic: Dr Savitha Uday
She  organizes study tour  programs for schools and colleges at Honnavar  to educate young students. Students have also done some documentation for her. She is ready to provide resources (stay at Honnavar) for professional researchers interested in translating the books. At Honnavar, she has set up her Center called buDa Folklore  that includes a Museum and a Library. The museum contains the work of the artisans and craftsmen of the tribe. “Apart from preserving and documenting I would like to revive the art and craft tradition. I need to develop an Artisan Centre for the people and then of course, my dream is to set up a cultural centre in Bangalore. 
She has organized awareness programmes for schools and colleges to acquaint them with the different cultures that are present so close to Bangalore, and yet, are unknown to many. “To live there is an experience in itself. Their way of living ..the meaningful rituals and festivals their food and folk medicine, that can easily be adopted by us and could also benefit us”, she says emphatically.
The challenge  she faces is to bring awerness among the tribes to value their rich culture. She brings in  a little money by hosting study tour programs at Honnavar.  she believes that the Learning centre is the answer to the continuation of the rich culture of this region   . Hope, as they say, is the biggest solution to any insurmountable difficulty.
Dr. Savita Uday

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