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Nagoba tribal festival through lens
‘Nagoba Drushyam’, a photography exhibition by DM Arjun was organised at ICCR art gallery in association with Department of Language and Culture, Govt. of Telangana.
‘Nagoba Drushyam’, a photography exhibition by DM Arjun was organised at ICCR art gallery in association with Department of Language and Culture, Govt. of Telangana. The exhibition was inaugurated by BS Ramulu (Chairman, B C Commission), B. Narsing Rao (Film director) and Mamidi Harikrishna (Director, Department of Culture).
‘Nagoba Jatara’ is a tribal festival held in Keslapur village of Adilabad district, celebrated by Mesram clan of Gond tribes for about ten days. DM Arjun stayed put up at the surrounding locations of the ‘Nagoba Jatara’ to build a collection of photographs that document the various rituals that happen in the village, annually. Nagoba is the presiding deity of the Mesram community, which worships the deity for fulfilling their wishes.
Devotees from all over India, especially from the State of Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh,Telangana and Andhra Pradesh come and participate in the festival. Arjun has managed to capture the many rituals of this second largest tribal festival, which include bringing of new pots for cooking food, introduction of new daughters-in-law, newly-weds wearing white dress and masks and prayer rituals.
In the year 1945, legendary anthropologist Christopher von Furer-Haimendorf, advisor to the Nizam’s government on Backward Classes and Tribal affairs, recommended to start a ‘Durbar’ which later came under revenue department till the emergence of Integrated Tribal Development Agency in 1976.
Some of the photographs portray the modern day ‘Durbar’ where the tribals get an opportunity to understand the development process in society and also put up their grievances on various issues. Arjun shared, “I stayed in one of the Government schools with whatever limited amenities and kept travelling all around as required from time to time. This has resulted in a very big stock of good photographs about the life of these tribals and I hope to bring out a book of these photographs soon.”