The Animated Mythologies of Tribal India: from Tales of Origination to Multimedia Technology

  • Tara Purnima Douglas Adivasi Arts Trust


Indigenous cultures worldwide have long held distinctive beliefs that ascribed a living soul or anima to biological and non-biological entities including plants, particular inanimate objects and to natural phenomena.   To the people who belonged to these traditional social groups, organic matter was vibrant, sentient and existed in dynamic relationship to Humankind.  Anthropological studies seek to decode the nuances of tribal rituals and the traditional practices of ‘other’ cultures; however, the underpinning of objectivity is challenged by indigenous research, to question the underlying authority.   For these societies, the merit is present in the interconnections and relationships. 

In India, liminal local perspectives have been largely excluded from mainstream media and this project investigates ethnographic film and animation as participatory media practice by indigenous storytellers in collaborations with the film-maker. The aim is to also present the contemporary experiences recounted by the participants as we revisit their timeless narratives. In the process this becomes a transformative experience that reconnects us with the social function of the artistic practices that have sustained traditional societies.