‘Goa Chitra’ – Ethnographic Museum Preserving Past to Enrich Future

‘Goa Chitra’ – an Ethnographic Museum Preserving Past to Enrich Future

Goa Chitra – ‘a fusion of Goa’ and preserving the past to enrich the future is a tribute by its founder, Victor Hugo Gomes to his ancestors and their way of life. In the past, people lived a life very close to their land, using age-old wisdom passed down through generations which today are referred to as an alternative way of living. It is a project to promote awareness and appreciation of the traditional agrarian lifestyle, of the eco-friendly techniques that were practiced and to create sensitivity and concern for the environment in Goan youth. Goa Chitra, an ethnographic museum, hosts a collection of implements that are fast disappearing in the contemporary economy and society, allowing visitors to learn about life in past days. The museum is set against the back drop of an organic farm, and its environs highlight the traditions of the past.

Mangaluru: ‘Goa Chitra’ is a tribute by its founder, Victor Hugo Gomes, to his ancestors and to their way of life using age-old wisdom passed down through generations. It is an unique collection and display of traditional farming implements and other ancient tools of trade set up against the backdrop of a traditional organic farm. Beginning with the original 200 privately collected items, the collections have now grown to more than 4000 objects on display. The museum nevertheless preserves its universality in its collections of artifacts in representing the culture of ancient Goa. Each of the artifacts is supplemented by information that was collected by interviewing the elder members of the community and through the study of its application in daily life.

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Re-utilization and recycling of materials like wood work, doors, windows, pillars, railings and other materials and elements from over 300 demolished traditional houses that have been recovered by the designer contribute to the contemporary outlook of the structure with its blend of traditional elements and modern technologies. The concept of the museum is in holding with the philosophy that resources in today’s world should not be wasted if their use is not necessary. Victor Gomes says, ” ‘Goa Chitra believes in reviving age old traditions through the museum display and outreach programs thus allowing the younger generation to share the wisdom of the past which would otherwise be irretrievably lost. This we hope will create awareness about nature, its influences, and benefits on human life”.

The Museum houses a wide range of exhibits depicting the material culture of Goa before the electricity era. The exhibits on display are associated to the rural trades and their indigenous skills. The agrarian section highlights traditional, agricultural implements displayed according to different operations. The artifacts on display comprises of tillage implements, sowing tools, inter culture operation tools, harvesting, cutting, pruning and marking implements, post harvest tools and implements, crop processing tools and implements, irrigation tools and implements, Crop protection implements.

Further an entire section is dedicated to storage implements of varied material like metal and wood. Grain and liquid measures, as well as different types of weights and scales used by grocers are on display. Walking through the passages you will find Ancient mode of transport where impressive carts, carriages, palanquin and caderin are put on show. Besides agriculture other trades are also on exhibit. A large selection of tools used by carpenters, tailors, goldsmiths, cobblers, barbers, blacksmith and masons are on display. Importance is given to details, so one shall also see tools used by masons who carved stone.

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There is a separate section which exhibits domestic and important Goan crafts, such as pottery, cane work and weaving as well as stone work. Kitchen implements in wood and metal take a large amount of space with careful consideration given to their utility. Surprises always lurk around every corner as Implements used for leisure activities such as hunting as well as traditional games and musical instruments are put in view. Since the museum is a dedication to our forefathers the entrance to the museum depicts the religious accessories and art of the Catholic and Hindu religion.

The Mission of Goa Chitra is to Preserve the past to enrich the future. Goa Chitra -‘a fusion of Goa- the state and Chitra meaning pictures, is a tribute by its founder to his ancestors and their way of life. In the past, people lived a life very close to their land, using age-old wisdom passed down through generations which today are referred to as an alternative way of living. It is a project to promote awareness and appreciation of the traditional agrarian lifestyle, of the eco-friendly techniques that were practiced and to create sensitivity and concern for the environment in Goan youth. Goa Chitra, an ethnographic museum, hosts a collection of implements that are fast disappearing in the contemporary economy and society, allowing visitors to learn about life in past days.The museum is set against the back drop of an organic farm, and its environs highlight the traditions of the past.

Goa Chitra believes in reviving age old traditions through the museum display and outreach programs thus allowing the younger generation to share the wisdom of the past which would otherwise be irretrievably lost. This we hope will create awareness about nature, its influences, and benefits on human life. As an organization/institution it sets and executes finite goals and activities to create a healing environment, promote health and vitality and devising one’s own life enhancing programs aimed at creating a more harmonious environment.

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Speaking to Mangalorean.com, Victor Gomes said, ” The aims and objectives of Goa Chitra is to showcase the rich tradition of implements, tools, arts, crafts. This heritage makes evident that our ancestors were self sufficient with material that they sourced from their surroundings; to acquaint visitors with eco-friendly indigenous technology that maintained a balance with the natural surroundings;to preserve and display traditional implements and tools on the assumption that the museum will engender awareness and appreciation of past traditions, allowing people to become aware of their roots and take pride in their rich ancestry; to document the various implements in their cultural context to authenticate tools as well as understand their genesis; to archive the traditions related to the implements and their accompanying rituals before they are rendered obsolete”.

“Restoring agricultural methods through traditional organic farming and applying such methods to experiment soil fertility and crop production. Ensuring the preservation of these traditional forms of expression. One avenue to this goal is inspiring the younger generation to take up and continue these art forms by exposing them to their heritage. Development and promoting of these art forms constitutes the other means by which Goan culture can be preserved and continued. Archiving of Goa’s cultural heritage through documents, books, photographs, handicrafts, electronic recordings, costumes, musical instruments, artifacts and oral history, so that records of traditions that may die out are recorded. Promoting the folk performing arts; to encourage troupes, where necessary, to put together a more rehearsed performance so that they can expand their audience” added Gomes.

For more details and Direction to Goa Chitra call : 0832-2772910

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