Guwahati | The first exhibition in Britain to explore the impressive cultural history of Assam through objects, classical dance form Sattriya, manuscripts, music, besides a documentary is being held at the British Museum London from January 21 to August 15 next.
A British Museum press release for the Assam event says Assam is today little known outside the North-east of India. However, in the late medieval period it was the centre of a vibrant culture of devotion to the Hindu deity Krishna, a movement that was founded by the saint Shankaradeva (died 1568) and continues to this day.
At the event titled ‘Krishna in the Garden of Assam: the cultural context of an Indian textile’, the release said, A striking element of this devotional cult is the re-enactment of scenes from the Life of Krishna, all over Assam but especially on the island of Majuli in the Brahmaputra River during the Ras Lila festival. These Krishna narratives were recorded not only in music, drama and dance, but also in woven textile imagery.
This is the first exhibition in Britain to explore the impressive cultural history of Assam through objects, said the release sent by NRI Assam Co-ordinator for UK Rini Kakati today.
The largest surviving example of such a woven silk cloth, or Vrindavani Vastra, will be the centrepiece of this exhibition at the British Museum. It is one of the most important Indian textiles in the Museum’s collection dated to about 1680 AD and is today over 9 metres long, it said.
Speaking on the state’s handloom tradition, the Museum said, Assam has been renowned for many centuries as a centre for weaving both silk and cotton.