Jamshedpur, Nov 17: Samvaad – one of the largest platforms on tribal identity in India, offered by Tata Steel Foundation – observed the third of five days today, as they brought together distinguished individuals from different walks of life to one platform to exchange ideas, art, problems and solutions. More than 6000 people have attended the evenings of Samvaad at Gopal Maidan in the first two days to revel in tribal culture, wisdom, traditions and food.
The third day of Samvaad began with the unveiling of tribal clock, at Jamshedpur Natural Trail, one of the five locations of Samvaad 2023. The uniqueness of the clock is that it goes counterclockwise. Tribal communities believe that the conventional watch we use in the present times is antithetical to existing motion of Nature, set in the counterclockwise direction.
For instance, the Earth revolves in anti-clockwise direction, most climbing plants or creepers grow in anti-clockwise direction, natural calamities such as hurricanes and cyclones swirl in counterclockwise motion. Celebration in tribal communities, who form a close bond with nature, converge with dances movements in the counterclockwise direction.
This clock represents the tribal school of thought which is synonymous to Nature’s motion. The unveiled tribal clock was designed in by artisans of Navjeevan Cooperative group of Kalinganagar while technical expertise was provided by Titan, a Tata group entity in close partnership over a six-month period. The clocks, in different variants, made by the artisans of Navjeevan are available at their stall in Gopal Maidan.
The highlight of the day was the performance by Rhythms of the Earth (ROTE), an ensemble of 48 musicians from 11 tribes of India who performed their original compositions taking the audience by storm. They have collaborated with Da Shugs, the first Indigenous band from Ladakh who made their debut national performance at Samvaad 2023. Members of ROTE and Da Shugs were engaged in a 10-day residency at the Tribal Culture Centre, Sonari, where they exchanged stories, narratives and emotions that have found reflection in their music and lyrics.
Sourav Roy, Chief Executive Officer, Tata Steel Foundation, expressed his thoughts and said: “The different elements of Samvaad including food, music, artisans, cultural markers and others, bring a lot of intangible potential through this tribal cultural conclave.
It is not only a platform of expression but also a forum for meaningful dialogues that adds perspectives to the different aspects of life and one’s journey through it. The tribal clock that was unveiled today shows us new hope for a more equitable tomorrow, where we can learn from each other’s journey. The Rhythms of the Earth ensemble is another example of what we can collectively achieve when like-minded individuals come together with a similar mission.”
The third day also witnessed an interesting session at Tribal Culture Centre (TCC), Sonari, on the Samvaad 2023 theme, Walk with Me, which traced the journeys of unheralded leadership and collectivisation. At the Jamshedpur Nature Trail, an artisans’ conclave titled De-Sign of the Times was held, which divulged the extent of contemporisation of tribal art and handicraft.
At the Tata Steel Foundation community centre (RD Bhatta), a session on tribal healing practices was underway, where the healers engaged in conversations on documenting and preserving tribal medicinal recipes with everyday food. 164 healers from 20 tribes were present at the venue.
The afternoon was spent in an introspective workshop with the tribal filmmakers at Jamshedpur Nature Trail. An artisans’ workshop was planned for the evening, moderated by 110 artisans from 25 tribes, showing 28 art forms.