The Contemporary Art Filled with a Soul of Sacred Tradition

India is a country where many ethics and epics have an indirect relevance to its past traditions and customs. With the development of technology and trade there has been a social revolution that continuously endeavors to conceptualize the same old customs in a more new and modern way.

The uplift in the economical and social status of the primitive tribes of Indian villages axiomatically reveals this statement. The tribal medicine men of the foothills of Himalayas, often named as “Vaidh”, are now identified as homeopathic chemists; the ancient method of giving the manual cuts to all precious stones are now more popularized and done in a more technological way in Jaipur. The “Thangka paintings” of Buddhism culture have now acquired a great market for its primitive value. Similarly, there are many  tribal arts that have now taken a new shape to cope with contemporary trends, while still maintaining its historical richness.

In the village of Samsing Fari, North Bengal, such blends of old and new have been well established to create a unique category of product that has both its demand to meet the requirement of unique interior designs and the sacred traditional belief that it must have an ecological feasibility as well.

Cinnamomum Cecido– Daphne, locally named as Malagiri, an aromatic class of wood that also has the ability to cure throat problems is one such example of a product manufactured in a modern way by the tribes of the village.  The tree is considered as sacred in the village because of its medicinal value- and thus, the timber is never used for such purposes where it can denote an inferior activity. For example, the timber is never used for flooring as it is considered to be a sinful act to put your foot on it. The wood also has many favorable growing features, like its durability to the soil and climatic conditions. This feature keeps the root of dead trees under the soil for more than 400-500 years without any signs of decaying. These dead roots are then dug out and given a unique look in the form of stands, tables and showpieces.  Though the wood is more than 400-500 years old it still exudes the signature mesmerizing natural aroma that allows it to be used as an incense while worshiping in the villages. It cannot come under the category of ” drift wood” as  the unique abstract shapes are not in fact made by the water of streams but are solely the natural shape of the roots.

Therefore, the tribal belief of the village, their sacred custom and their artistic dexterity all combined together give the products a unique shape and size that can precisely hypnotize anyone into glowing admirers of this cocktail of the ancient and the contemporary.

Author: Babit


  1. Nice write-up, I am sure there are lot of interesting stories like this from the remote Indian villages that are not known to outside world. Articles like these are eye-openers for everyone.

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