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Tilche, Alice (2015) 'A Forgotten Adivasi Landscape: Museums and Memory in western India.' Contributions to Indian Sociology, 49 (2).

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This article focuses on processes of remembering, forgetting and re-remembering. It examines a fundamental tension between the project of retrieving an adivasi past, initiated by an adivasi museum in rural western India, and the social and material landscape surrounding it, characterised instead by fragmentation and separation from the identity of adivasi. The article reflects on a collaborative research project between the researcher, young adivasi curators and inhabitants of the area adjoining the museum. It shows how, while curators engaged in a project of recuperation, at the same time, they were distancing themselves from their traditional identity by joining reform movements and new religious sects. Processes of memory and forgetting, however, also co-existed. People held multiple identities and the process of retrieving the past also called for transformation and reform. The article is a timely contribution to debates about adivasi identity, social transformation and religious reform. It also offers a reflection on the new role of indigenous museums and their potential to address a ‘crisis of postcolonial memory’ (Werbner 1998). Finally, it contributes to discussions of methodology with a focus on the collaborative process of collecting and its role in eliciting or preventing certain kinds of memories.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: adivasi, museums, memory, forgetting, religious reform
SOAS Departments & Centres: Legacy Departments > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Department of Anthropology and Sociology
ISSN: 00699667
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 21 Apr 2015 14:26

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