PresenterMUKHOPADHYAY SUDIPTO - SCBC COLLEGE, UNIVERSITY OF KALYANI, ENGLISH, MURSHIDABAD, India
Panel12 – South Asian Collections in European Museums: Examining their acquisition, display, and futures
Since mid 19th century, various European missionaries, like Skrefsrud, Borresen, Paul Olaf Bodding have significantly transformed the course of Santal cultural memory from its transient oral roots to a more ‘fixed’ literate heritage with the support of Kolean Guru, Sagram Murmu and many more Santal scribes. A significant section of such correspondences are now preserved at “The Santal Collection” in the Museum of Cultural History, Oslo, established by Paul Olaf Bodding, and the Archive Collection at the Danmission, Copenhagen, as they stand as the ‘sites’ of memory of preservation and memorialization.This research traces the trajectory of the Santal-Scandinavian collaborative dialogue through past five decades of cataloguing and thereafter digitization of manuscripts collected by Bodding, through sustained efforts of Santosh Soren, one of the first Santals to migrate to Europe in 1970s, Normission and Danmission.This presentation delves into the methods of preservation through which past operates in the present configuring heritage sites and various claims of it’s autonomy and identity. It intends to investigate the Adivasi rights over its own history, heritage and cultural memory, looking into the methods through which various Indo-European stakeholders have emerged over a century and are persistently negotiating the process of ‘owning’ the Santal history.