Collections

The skills associated with crafting of the local boat has evolved with time-tested community practices. Step by step processes and particularities involved in making the  boat types like Ap (canoe of the Chowra island, Andamans), Odam (sewn boats of Lakshadweep), Pattia (boats from the Sunderbans) and many other such boat building traditions from around the country have been included in this collection.

BOATS 

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BOAT BUILDING

Documentation of Indian navigation and navigation instruments of the traditional seafaring communities has given us access to community held maritime technical skills and pre-industrial and pre-scientific knowledge of the oceans. This collection includes locally sourced information on nautical instrumentation, stone anchors, system of notation of time, star mapping and indigeneous calendrical systems.

NAUTICAL KNOWLEDGE

Practices and indigeneous knowledge of sea-going communities have been showcased through Dr. Varadarajan's field visits and photo documentation of communities from Gujarat, Kerala, Lakshadweep, Andaman and Nicobar islands, West Bengal and Orissa. In documenting the life and times of settlements the collection offers invaluable insight into seafaring livelihoods.

MARITIME COMMUNITIES

The building of a local boat is a craft skill that has evolved over time and continuing community practice. Dr. Varadarajan documents the step by step processes and particularities involved in making the Ap (canoe of the Chowra island, Andamans), Odam (sewn boats of Lakshadweep), Patia (boats from the Sunderbans) and other local boat building traditions from around India's coastline and islands. The diversity of these traditions is guided by locally available resources, observation based design innovations and community sensibilities in seafaring. 

Documentation of navigation practices and instruments of the traditional seafaring communities has opened access to community held maritime technical skills based on observation and local scientific understanding of the oceans. Dr. Varadarajan's ethnographic research on the seafaring communities shows local experiential knowledge on nautical instrumentation, notation of time, star mapping, indigeneous calendrical systems and underwater archaeology  specially stone anchors.

The arts, crafts and cultures of sea-faring communities have been surveyed to highlight the interdependency of the coastal eco-system and the local livelihoods. Practices and indigeneous knowledge of sea-going communities have been made available through Dr. Varadarajan's field work and photo documentation. In her field visits to Gujarat, Kerala, Lakshadweep, Andaman and Nicobar islands, West Bengal and Orissa, she has documented the seafaring lives of individuals from maritime communities who, till then, had remained largely isolated from the technological onslaught of western industrialisation, thus retaining invaluable traditional sensibilities.

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ARCHIVES OF INDIAN MARITIME COMMUNITY TRADITIONS

Archive created by the Centre for Community Knowledge, Ambedkar University Delhi
with the support of
Vasant J Sheth Memorial Foundation, and
Project Mausam, Indira Gandhi Centre for the Arts