The slow death of the diorama: Tribal and ethnographic museums in India since independence

Crispin Bates, Aya Ikegame

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

During colonial times, dioramas were commonly used to portray the diverse peoples of India. They depicted essentialised human types through plaster models in rural settings, engaged in typical activities and dated back to the exhibition of human beings in universal expositions held in Calcutta, Delhi, and London. Since independence there have been determined efforts to move away from colonial stereotypes and to decolonise government-funded museums in India. Meanwhile, Adivasi artists are finding their own way out of the curatorial confines of the museum. This paper describes how Indian museology still struggles to exorcise the ghosts of the Victorian museum and India’s own internal colonialism.
Original languageEnglish
JournalSouth Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies
Early online date6 Mar 2024
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 6 Mar 2024

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • diorama
  • tribal
  • Adivasi
  • ethnographic
  • India
  • museums
  • museology
  • decolonisation

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