The Gond Digital Community Archives

supported by the National Folklore Support Center, Chennai.

This collection of audio visual material folklore and cultural aspects of the communities is centered around Pipariya, District Hoshangabad, MP. Its objective is to document and share indigenous oral history and knowledge, and make it easily accessible to the local community and to the public. Using the strong local linkages of the Jatan support network in this region of the Satpuras in Madhya Pradesh, the local community is closely involved in this project.


Given the poor state of infrastructure, even electricity availability in this part of rural Madhya Pradesh, a digital archive in here requires innovative ways of collection and dissemination. Jatan team members not only collect and document the data, but go back to the subjects in their villages to show films and other outputs. This happens both in the form of village screenings of films, or as the Catapult Arts Caravan shows. After all public presentations, audience comments on the products are noted, and quite often, subjects are invited to Jatan at Pipariya to see the archive maintainance and digital product creation.


Some examples from the collections can be seen here -


1. Madhai - The festivities surrounding the Gond festival of Madhai, traditionally a way in which mixed villages joined the Gond tribal celebrations that acknowledged their position in the landscape and village. Now under serious pressure of commercialization and mainstreaming. Villages from Dist Hoshangabad, Madhya Pradesh.


2. The Fatehpur-Mahukheda jungle fort - Older residents of neighbouring forest villages, describe how the now ruined and hard to reach Gond jungle fort and palace at Fathehpur - Mahuakheda was like when they worked there half a century ago. Near Bankhedi, dist Hoshangabad, Madhya Pradesh.


3. Tara - A Gond girl describes her struggle for education and self respect . Village Kesla, Dist Hoshangabad, Madhya Pradesh.


4. The Mahua tree - The tree of life for the gond tribals of central india. a film based on interviews about the importance and usefulness of the tree from village Daudi Jhunkar, district Hoshangabad, MP.


5. Jiroti - A traditional folk festival in village Daudi Jhunkar,district Hoshangabad, MP , celebrated by the Gond people of the village as the rainy season begins.