The Making of a Museum: Personal Recollections


ISBN 9789350022207
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ISBN 9789350022207


This work represents a pioneering experiment on the borders of anthropology and museology – an ethnography of the museum – where the story is told in the words of the collectors of the museum objects themselves, of the building of the largest open-air museum in Asia. The Indira Gandhi Rashtriyaa Manav Sangrahalya (IGRMS) or the Museum of Manking in Bhipal, Madhya Pradesh, was conceived to showcase the performative cultural diversity of India in one place. Begun in 1979, IGRMS today houses cultural speciments and actual habitats from all parts of the country. Its interactive character with tribal and rural communities is highlighted in continuous displays and performances by artists and atristes from different regions of India. In the essays and interviews collected in thsi volume, the reader gets a first-hand glimpse of the joys and travails of museum collection, the commitment of the museum staff, and an indomitable will to assemble a rich civilizational heritage within the IGRMs campus. The various authors of the book, the real heroes of the story. They narrate their experiences to one of India’s leading anthropologists resulting in an anthology which will be of far-reaching interest to anthropology and sociology, museology, cultural studies, and those involved in the documentation of heritage in all parts of the world.

Ravindra K Jainis a distinguished anthropologist who has researched and taught anthropology and sociology in many parts of the world. His books include,South Indians on the Plantation Frontier in Malaya(1970);Text and Context: The Social Anthropology of Tradition,Edited, (1977);Indian Communities Abroad: Themes and Literature(1993);Between History and Legend: Status and Power in Bundelkhand(2002),Nationa, Diaspora, Trans-nation: Reflections from India(2010); and many others. The present work was completed by him as the Tagore National Fellow in Cultural Research, Government of India (2011-13).


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