Pamela Dasgupta decodes the gripping tribal culture of Tripura with research on its Art & culture
India is a country that amasses several ethnicities within itself, a nation that is home to dozens of practices, communities and tribes. Among the 600 Indian states, Tripura is the most ancient, which has the largest kingdom of Tripura, the tiny hilly at the easternmost side of the country.
The heritage of Tripura is vast and colourful but is not known to many, the natural beauty has 19 tribal communities residing in its arms with mainly two groups of peoples in this state like:-indo-aryans who are Bangladeshi and indo-mongoloids.
A Doctoral student, Pamela Dasgupta has very closely associated herself with this rich heritage and has conducted in-depth research to share the magnificence of the state and its beauty with people across the globe.
A creatively inspired student at the Fine Arts department of Assam University, Silchar, Pamela has tried to understand the culture of Tripura from its very roots to make her research more robust.
An aesthetic painter who has brought to her canvas the eccentric beauty of several landscapes, Pamela has been keen on connecting with the areas surrounding the eastern belt of India including its neighbour Bangladesh where she conducts various painting workshops.
Her research called the“Art and Ethnicity of Tripura”, does complete justice to “highlight the diverse culture of Tripura and bring to light its art, heritage, and ethnicity”. Fluent in three most spoken languages of India namely Bengali, Hindi, and English, Pamela through her research has found out some gripping details about the beauty of the state.
“There is a simplicity of life in Tripura. Tripura has a natural beauty which is too attractive to the tourist. It is noted that tribal ladies are related to various activities like- dancing, singing, cultivation, using of instruments, making of house(which is known as ‘tong’), making of dresses and jewellery etc. Even the men are also helpful to the women for the household works. Recently for youths education is an essential matter. Although these people are facing some changes, recently”, says Pamela Dasgupta.
On being asked about her findings in the cultural richness, Pamela says,”The various cultures of Tripura co-exist in harmony and respect. Art & Culture has been a heritage in Tripura since the Royal period. What has been commonly observed across most of the traditional tribal ways of clothing is the simplicity in design, pattern and the same kind of materials like cotton being used by almost all the tribes. The easy availability of cotton in their jhum field since jhuming was a major source of livelihood attached with the tribal ways of life and it provides comfort especially for the tribal community who are busy in the daily life practice”.
Pamela recalls how she found that there was a start similarity in the ornaments and costumes of Tripura from the west. Termed as kirata by the great linguist Sunit Kumar Chatterjee, Tripura does lack on the front of economic development and hence does not have many opportunities but it is slowly opening itself because of the widespread arrival of tourists in the state. She also rekindles her findings about the jewellery that was made indigenously by the tribal women.
Famous for its wildlife sanctuary and the jhum/shifting cultivation, Tripura is a magnetic land that attracts both tourists and it’s locale to explore the vastness of its heritage. It has been hailed for its art & culture since the royal age and since then have caught the attention of cultural enthusiasts such as Pamela to take its natural enormity to millions across the globe.