Tales of the Tribe

Animated Film Screening
Adivasi Arts Trust
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Little is known about the tribal communities in India, although they comprise 8% of the population. These people, with their rich tradition of oral narratives and handmade art work are widely considered as archaic, but now they are retelling their stories using digital technology.

The Tales of the Tribes (2017) is the first collection of animated tribal folktales to be produced in India in collaborations between traditional and digital artists. There are five short films in the collection; these are adaptations of indigenous Indian stories: tales of mythical origins, tales of Mankind’s interdependence with nature and the supernatural; tales of local heroes, landscapes and events.

The stories were selected by participants in five Animation Workshops in Nagaland (2009), Sikkim (2010), Manipur (2012), Central India (2012) and Arunachal Pradesh (2013). The programme is for all ages: youngsters will enjoy the animation; adult audiences will delight at seeing unique art forms, music, songs, storytelling and indigenous knowledge in a new, innovative presentation.

The programme will begin with a tribal musical performance by Narayandeen Tekam, a traditional Pardhan Gond Bana player from Patangarh village, Madhya Pradesh. This will be followed by a brief introduction to the project by the Series Director, Tara Douglas. Tara is the Secretary of the Adivasi Arts Trust (UK). The Tales of the Tribes has been a way for her to engage with tribal storytelling and art in India during her research on tribal cultures.

The screening will be followed by an interactive session with two visiting Pardhan Gond artists: Venkat Raman Singh Shyam and Rajendra Shyam who have both worked on the first film in the Tales of the Tribes series, the Gond story of the Creation of the Peacock.