12/12/2009

The painted world of the Warlis. Tribal Art of Middle India. Divine Support: Ghurras Wooden Churning-rod holders from Nepal.

-The Painted World of The Warlis. Art and Ritual of the Warli Tribes of Maharashtra. Shodhara Dalmia. Lalit Kala Akademi, 1988, New Delhi.

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http://www.exoticindiaart.com/book/details/NAB034/

-Tribal art of Middle India. Verrier Elwin. Oxford University Press, 1951.

the tribal art....pic

http://www.quarksinthepark.org.uk/india/india.html .

-Nepalese shamanic drums and dhyangro handles.

NEPALESE SHAMANIC DRUM

The double sided membrane drum Dhyangro is the peculiar, indispensable, and one  of the most important, pharaphernalia of the western nepal  shamans. 

NEPALESE SHAMANIC DRUM a

The nepalese shaman is the bridge, the link and mediator between the real and invisible world.

NEPALESE SHAMANIC DRUM b

See more on http://ethnoflorence.skynetblogs.be/post/6909408/dhyangro...

- Nepalese Shamanic ritual dagger phurbu.

Nepalese phurbu

Coming soon.

-Divine Support: Ghurras Wooden Churning-rod Holders From Nepal by  Paul De Smedt Paperback (2000).

 GHURRAS DIVINE SUPPORT

 

Paul de Smedt, is a Belgian industrial engineer , in this  book , the first devoted to this matter, the author explores the traditional use of wooden churning-rod holders generally known in the artistic  folk tradition of  Nepal as ghurras, putting  forward a system of classification in order to build up a symbolic interpretation of these items.

GHURRAS a

The Ghurras are  anthropomorphic carved  objects  used to guide the churning-rod during the churning of milk in order to produce butter.

GHURRAS b

-Pic from the 2007 exhibition of the "GALERIE LE TOIT DU MONDE"  (http://www.letoitdumonde.net/)   at the  Mairie du 6e -Salon du Vieux Colombier. 

More on http://sanza.skynetblogs.be/post/5334991/masques--arts-tr...      

and   http://www.letoitdumonde.net/actualites/index.html .


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In the August of 1991 and  for the first time in his  life  Mr De Smetd came across this fascinating wooden object on a stall at the 'Grote zavel' antique market in Brussels. He  was deeply impressed by this sculpture, which was distinctly anthropomorphic in character. The author remember how the  magnificent patina of these item gleamed in the sunlight,  moreover, the sculpture emanated a smell of rancid butter and milk. The stallholder informed him that it was known as a NETTI  or NETTLE  and had been collected in Nepal. He could tell him nothing specific about the real function or exact meaning of the object expect that it was perhaps an 'amulet' or  something linked with the milk or butter.

So Mr De Smetd  began to find the real meaning of this  object. He  tried to built up a collection of these items in order to give to his investigation  statistical basis. This  was the beginning of a passionate and fascinating cultural adventure. During a visit at the Rietberg museum in Zurich the Athor,  assisted by Prof. Bar,  found a publication, issued by the parisian gallery 'Le toit du monde'  (http://www.letoitdumonde.net/)  which provided some of the first information on the matter.

This mysterious object was surely  a holder for a churning rod , commonly used for churning milk in Nepal.

Some passages in the text were  however not clear for Mr De Smetd : 'Les Magars, ethnie Tibeto-Birmane etablie dans les collines de l'ouest et du centre qui vont des hautes valls jusqu'aux Plaines du Terai, fabriquent les elements de baratte terminee par des ailettes dans le recipient de battage.' (Patrick Pevenage). This citation might generate the impression that the manufacture of these objects was only linked  to the Magar tribe.

During his successive trips to Nepal in 1996, 1997 and 1998 the author made many mountain excursions  with his  friends Sukre Ale, Dawa, Surendra, Krisna, Kazi, his grand daughter Sara and his wife Maria. These excursions allowed them to explore the hilly countryside around Kathmandu, Pokhara, Sirubari, Tansen and Gorkha and gave also them the opportunity to establish contact with elderly Nepalese farmers and herdsmen from various different tribes castes.

From their direct conversations with these people of the place, Mr De Smetd could conclude with certainty that almost every tribe and caste make wooden churning- rod holders, each of them in their own specific symbolic way.

The author remarkes also that there are cases of eclecticism in transition areas or as a consequence of migrations. This fact is interesting and important  to explains the rich variety of design of these objects, although they do possess a surprising unity in form due to their anthropomorphic shape and mythological symbolism.

These functional and ritual items are known with different names, depending upon the tribe or caste concerned: tar, tara, nethi, ghurra, ghurlu, ghorlo, loti, neti, netti, in  the  Kathmandu 'market'  are  known as neti or ghurra.

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