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'The Pottery Tower of Manipur', IGRMS new series to display online

Friday - July 10, 2020 11:56 am , Category : BHOPAL


Bhopal, June 10 (WTN): Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Manav Sangrahalaya (IGRMS) launched new series to display online the exhibits on its 200 acre campus in Bhopal with the aim of digitally connecting everyone with them. Under the 4th phase of this series, today KUMHEI SHAKTAK PHURON (The Pottery Tower of Manipur) from the "KUMHARPARA" Open Air Exhibition has been presented online with its basic information and photographs and videos.

On this occasion Dr. Praveen Kumar Mishra, Director, IGRMS said that, the invention of Pottery is one of the important landmarks in the history of the journey of human civilization. The occurrence of Pottery in prehistory is generally attributed to the beginning of a settled life. It is considered to be an important index not only to date the ancient cultures but also to identify them. Pottery is also regarded as one of the most tangible and iconic elements of regional and cultural art.



N. Sakmacha Singh, Museum Associate, IGRMS said that, The present Open Air Exhibition "KUMHARPARA" which is translated as the Potter's Village, was perceived with an idea to showcase the outcome achieved by I.G.R.M.S. through workshops on the creative art of clay, Pottery, and terracotta. The exhibition at present houses 12 exhibits representing the Pottery and terracotta traditions from Jammu & Kashmir, Laddakh, Gujarat, Odisha, Manipur, Assam, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal.

Pottery Tradition of Manipur: Manipur is well known for its rich cultural manifestations reflected in many forms of traditional practices, art, and creativity. One of them is Pottery. In an ancient manuscript Chakparol, it is mentioned that the pottery craft was conceived from the thalamus of flower known as the 'Nura Khudonglei' (Malestoma malabathrium). Pottery is practiced both in the pockets or villages of the hills and plains of Manipur. Except for the Tangkhul Naga black-ware pottery (the Longpi Pottery), which are crafted by the males, women practice Pottery in other parts of the state. Manipuri Pottery is purely handmade, and they mostly follow the traditional technique of a strip-method.

KUMHEI SHAKTAK PHURON (The Pottery Tower): The present exhibit called Kumhei Shaktak Phuron (Festive Tower of Pots) is an installation made by the collective effort of the women potters from Andro, Thongjao, and Nongpok Sekmai villages of Manipur. The appearance of pottery tower for the first time in Manipur came up with the organization of World Tourism Day in 2015 at Andro Potters village, which is situated about 26 Km in the east of Imphal city. It emerged as an innovative practice of the potter's community to mark the festivity.

The potters from the valley of Manipur proposed for the installation of a massive pottery tower in the I.G.R.M.S. It was in the year 2017 that the museum accepted the proposal, and the potter's community from Manipur executed the work for the erection of this Pottery-Tower in the Open Air Exhibition premises of Kumharpara. I.G.R.M.S. has been able to set an exemplary example to represent the community's voice in curating exhibitions, and they are vividly reflected in museum displays. The tower has three sides, and it firmly stands on three poles, erected inside. Each pole carries 19 pots, and these pots are uniformly raised in each layer of the tower.

The base of every pot contains a hole at the centre, enabling them to fit on the pole. In this tower, a total of 60 pots and 1 Kegam (bowl) is used to raise this massive structure. This tower carries all those heavy pots used in Manipuri culture right from birth to death. It also has an iron tripod (Yotshabi) on the top. According to the Meitei religious philosophy, this tripod's legs represent the three supreme/ divine Gurus or the deities. The raising of an ingeniously built  towering structure of pots marks the beginning of a grand festival. It is now preserved in the Open Air Exhibition premises of the

Visitors can see this exhibition from home through the Official site and Facebook site of the IGRMS.- Window To News