International and Comparative Librarianship

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This Blogosphere has a slant towards India [a.k.a Indica, Indo, South-Asian, Oriental, Bharat, Hindustan, Asian-Indian (not American Indian)].

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Rare manuscript, textile from Northeast holed up in museums abroad

Times of India, 25 Sep 2007

GUWAHATI: A number of objects from Northeast India, much more ancient than Mahatma Gandhi's handwritten letter recently recovered from a British auction, are preserved in museums and private possessions in Europe and Southeast Asian countries, researchers have claimed.

Samiran Baruah, a researcher in the Assam State Museum says manuscripts of Brahmabaibhatta Purana belonging to the 18th century is in the British Museum.

" Vrindavani Vastra -- the figured silks from Assam -- from the 16th-18th century are found preserved in the British Museum, Chepstow museum in UK and Gemau Museum in France," he told reporters.

Sachipath Puthi (manuscript book) is occupying a place in British Museum.

Vrindavani Vastra are rare silk textile fragments depicting scenes from the life of Lord Krishna in a floral, naturalistic and preciously elegant style. They were used in the worship of Vishnu in the ancient Assamese monasteries.

Baruah had earlier documented 33 manuscripts including 3,000 paintings scattered in many satras (Vaishnavite monasteries) in Assam.

"Probably during the British rule, researchers found these objects and took them to their country," claims Baruah.

On the Vrindavani Vastra , belonging to the times of Assamese Vaishnavite saint Srimanta Sankaradeva, Baruah cited the findings by Rosemary Crill, author and a curator in the Indian Department at London's Victoria and Albert Museum.

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