IGRMS workshop introduces Assam tribe’s simple housing techniques

A housing construction workshop was recently organised at the Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Manav Sangrahalaya(IGRMS). The objective was to introduce local architecture in different stages of housing construction made by local tribes and spread awareness about them.

Traditional artists from the Moran tribe of Assam displayed their housing styles, introducing visitors to the intellectual and creative skills of simple societies compared to the technological splendour of contemporary India. N. Sakamacha Singh, a Museum Associate of IGRMS, said, “People of the Moran tribe of Assam construct their houses with bamboo. The wall structures have traditional design. A Moran house has three rooms arrayed with bamboo wall partitions. The front hall — called Sora ghar —is regarded as the most important part of the house.”

The Moran tribe gives value to the family system and that is reflected in their housing techniques. The common room has a fireplace called Jui Hali, surrounding which is a meeting place. The space adjoining the main pillar is the place for the head of the household. The bedrooms are sometimes extended with partitions, depending upon the number of married sons and family members. The last room of the extension, called Randhoni Ghar, is the kitchen.

The traditional design and structure of a Moran house is not only determined by the environmental conditions but are also greatly influenced by culturally defined elements and their harmonious relation with elephants.

Granaries are constructed in a way that they virtually represent a fully eaten and pot-bellied elephant sitting in the yard. The side walls of the granary are used for keeping and hanging agricultural implements, fishing tools and sometimes large-sized ropes for elephants. A team of Moran people from the villages of the Tinsukia district of Assam was invited by the museum to exhibit items representing their culture. Sheds for domesticated animals are also an important feature of these houses. Animals owned by tribesmen is not only is a matter of pride, but also strongly associated with their distinct tribal identity.

Source : TOI

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