BNP Cultural Museum
Bardia National Park Cultural Museum
A lovely slow start to the day simply taking in birdsong and breakfast. We decided on an early lunch and I asked one of the boys to open a tin of tuna for me............Oh my, I was trying to help Bear who would have to attack the tin with his trusty Swiss Army Knife........Not sure what the lad did but........
That done, we bimbled to Bardia National Park, took in one of the guardians at the gate and went in search of the little Cultural Museum.
The villagers belonged to the Tharu people. The Tharu people (about 1.8 million) are an ethnic group indigenous to the southern foothills of the Himalayas; most of the Tharu people live in the Nepal Terai. The word tharu is thought to be derived from sthavir meaning follower of Theravada Buddhism. Some Tharu groups also live in the Indian Terai, foremost in Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. The Tharus are recognised as an official nationality by the Government of Nepal. The Government of India recognises the Tharu people as a scheduled tribe (about 350,000).
In the first room – part of a grinding tool and footwear, wooden flip flops.
We loved the decorative wall hanging for Knick-knacks along with a more traditional shelf and wall patterns.
In the main room we saw clothing and ‘wardrobes’ or vaunka that include a protective cover against mice, dust and smoke.
Hand-woven baskets, made of bamboo and siru grass are the most common and widely used in Tharu households at all socio-economic groups. Used for storage, for carrying goods, and as a decorative household piece. Baskets were preferred in natural tones but some were decorated with natural dyes. Special baskets decorated with boiled snail shells were used by brides and grooms for keeping smaller personal effects (combs, hair clips etc). Feruwas are flat, oblong baskets specially intended for salt and chilli containers. It was common for baskets to be held on hemp ropes called barahis, attached to the ceiling to keep vermin from reaching them. To get the baskets down a wooden prong called ghardilla was used.
Silver jewellery, some quite intricate, were displayed in a case.
Largely animists, Tharus had a complex belief system which paid enormous homage to nature. Prakriti ko puja or animism consists of praying to stones, animals, trees and water systems. Each family may have a special animal and they showed respect by not killing or eating their favourite. The Tharu deutathan or place of worship, is the sacred space within the household where all deities reside. Totems are an emblem of a clan or family.
We really liked the shelving units.
Outside, some fairly sophisticated carts.
On our way to the Crocodile Breeding Centre we were pleased to see a new build in progress......
........watched by the ever-curious langurs.
ALL IN ALL A CUTE LITTLE PLACE
WELL PRESENTED BUT A BIT RUNDOWN