Free Press Journal

Marked increase in tourist’s footfall at India’s 1st live tribal museum

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Bhopal: MP government has decided to observe the International Day of the World’s Indigenous People’s on August 9 as Tribal day. One of its initiative to showcase the culture of indigenous people of the state- first live Tribal Museum in India located in the state capital is drawing attention of the globe totters.

Inaugurated by the then President of India- Pranab Mukherjee in 2013, the number of tourists’ footfall including both Indian and foreigner has increased. It has gone up four times in six years: it was 66, 579 in 2015 and in 2017, the number was 2, 14,522. At present, the number of visitors per day is 500 while on weekend its number is  more than 1500. The visitor’s number of last Sunday was 2000.

In 2015, the number Indian and foreign tourists in the museum was 66,064 and 515 while in 2016, the number was 8, 6546 and 881.  In 2017, the number Indian and foreign tourists was 2, 13613 and 909 in the museum which showcases historical and cultural narratives depicting different facets of tribes inhabiting the state of MP and Chattisgarh.


Curator of the museum, Ashok Mishra told Free Press, “I think, one of major the reason of visitors whether it is Indian or foreigner towards the museum is its liveliness. It is matter of happiness for us that the way of displaying the exhibits here is unique and different in the world.”

He further said, “I don’t think so that the word ‘museum’ is correct for the place here. It is place of collection of liveliness. The people from musicology department across world are doing research on it and they also have to say that the old perception of the museum should be changed.”

An amalgamation of anthropological provenance and sociological relevance of different cultures, customs and rituals of indigenous peoples such as the Gonds, Bharias, Korku, Sahariya, Bhil, Baiga and Kol– the museum is a rich repository of traditional aesthetics and artworks. It has six galleries. Of these, one gallery depicts Chhatishgarh tribes. “To improve the liveliness of museum, we organise various cultural performances including classical dance, drama and movies under weekly programme series ‘Uttaradhikar,’ ‘Abhinayan’ and ‘Ullas,’ Mishra added.

He said “An Amphitheatre and a library along with art gallery are also being constructed in the museum for artistes. Besides, the houses of seven major tribes of MP including Gond, Baiga, Bheel, Korkoo, Saharia, Bharia and Kol  is being built separately on the museum by the community for the same tribes till certain period of time.  It will especially help the researchers who unable to go the original place. They can observe the lifestyle of these tribes in the museum only.”

Good response for Chinhari

A museum shop ‘Chinhari’ is also getting very good response from visitors. It is a retail outlet for handicraft connoisseurs, exhibits a collection of exquisite artifacts of different districts of the state. Traditional works by artisans like authentic bastar handicrafts and metal art, bamboo furnishings, miniature paintings and colorful papier mache artworks, made by tribal artists from and Chattisgarh are available for sale at the shop. The range of artifacts starts from Rs 25 to 25000. “It is unexpected response of visitors mostly Indian. The sale of the shop per day is Rs 15,000. Sometimes, we sell out the items of lakhs in a day,” Mishra said.

Distinguished guests

Distinguished guests who have visited the museum include– Bhutan’s Princess Riechar Verma, US Ambessodors, Julie Wayne, a French photographer, Singapore’s ambassadors, Commonwealth delegation, German scholars, Ashok Gajpati Raju, Rani Mukherjee, Om Puri, Abhijeet, Govind Namdev and many more.