The Collection of Textiles in the Madhab Chandra Goswami Museum, Department of Anthropology, Gauhati University is important for the reasons that these are collected from among most of the ethno-cultural groups of Northeast India. These reflect the cultural identities of the ethno-cultural groups of the seven sisters’ states in a variable proportions. Textiles from each area have distinctiveness of their own.
In this book the textiles of Northeast India are examined on comparative basis. In fact this book has given visual identity for each ethno-cultural group inhabiting in this part of India. In fact through the textiles one may feel the vibrations of cultures of Northeast India.
The Museum preserves such priceless cultural heritages of North-east India. The book is a catalogue of the textile materials collected from the seven sisters' states of Northeast India comprising Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya Mizoram, Nagaland, Manipur and Tripura.
Sankar K. Roy obtained his Post Graduate Degree in Science in Anthropology from Gauhati Univesity in 1968. Since then he has been taking part in a number of ethnographic surveys and Archaeological explorations and excavations in different parts of North-east India conducted by the Department of Anthropology, Gauhati University.
Ethno archaeological problems and material cultures studies of this area constitute the main arena of his research. A number of research papers on afore said theme were published in the journals of both national and international reputes. He was awarded Ph.D. Degree in Anthropology from Gauhati University in the year 1978. He has already published a book on "Ceramics of Northeast India: Ethno-archaeological Perspectives". Two students obtained Ph.D. Degree under his supervision. Presently he is Curator of Madhab Chandra Goswami Museum, Dept. of Anthropology, Gauhati University.
Madhab Chandra Goswami Museum (Previously Anthro-pological Museum), Department of Anthropology, Gauhati University was established as an integral part of this discipline in the year 1950. Since its inception this museum directs its endeavour to record and to preserve the material cultural items from diverse ethno-cultural situation of Northeast India. The collection began with the pioneering zeal of Prof. M.C. Goswami, the founder.
All speak of the cultural distinctiveness of Northeast in visual and tangible form of the textile come to the fore. They not only visually project the cultural distinctiveness of the life and culture of Northeast India; but also reflect the wider cultural nomogeneity within the heterogeneity. Integration reflects on heretogeneity. Chromes of textiles and the motifs woven on it catches this reality.
This needs exposure. The Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Manav Sangharalaya, Bhopal came forward with a bening approach to bring the aforesaid tacit relativity to the lime light by way of publishing a book on textiles based on the collection of Madhab Chandra Goswami Museum from their institution. We are thankful to them.
Madhab Chandra Goswami Museum (Previously Anthropological Museum), Department of Anthropology, Gauhati University has been existing for more than fifty years. This museum at the moment stands with it more than two thousand ethnographic and eleven thousand archaeological specimens. These were collected from different parts of Northeast India and at different depths of time. In addition, the museum houses skeletons of anthropoid apes and - other primates numbering ten only.
The material cultural items collected are diverse and many; but item stands for the concrete expression of the means through - _ people of Northeast India fulfill their specific material need in culturally determined way. The needs are diverse but integrated; the expression of their fulfillments. The beginning was humble it was made by early fifties of the preceding era under the pioneering efforts of late Prof. Madhab Chandra Goswami, the founder Head of this department. Over the time the museum has _ a tangible form and emerged as an anthropological museum with valuable and rare ethnographic collections from Northeast This museum contributes tangibly to the understanding of cultural heritage of Northeast India in particular and India as a whole.
As a said earlier, we have many collections of national and International importance. Of them textiles from Northeast India an important place. They not only stand as the cultural for diverse ethno cultural peoples of the Hills and the Plains; ex reflect an integrated cultural unity among the diverse ethno cultural groups of this area. This we feel but we could not bring forum through publications for financial constraints. We thankful to Prof. Kishor K Basa, Director Indira Gandhi Rasthriya Manav Sanghrahalaya, Bhopal who of this own has come forward to materialize our long cherished vision into reality through his initiative. The author feels exhilarated when he proposed the author's name for carrying out this responsibility this was approved by my Department. I am thankful to both.
While compiling this work I received technical support from our departmental colleagues : Dr. Bhavani Bora, Exploration Officer; Smt. Jayashree Kalita, Photo Artist and Ramen Thakuria of this department. The Photographs on textile were taken by Mr. Tapas Biswas and secretarial assistance given by Shri Sudhir Shrivastava and Manoj Jain from Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Manav Sangrahalya, Bhopal, I express my gratitude to them. I must express my thanks to Prof. B.K. Medhi of this Department for his academic support. Last but not least, I express my heartfelt thanks to all who co-operated with me in giving this work a definite shape.
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