The Tribal Groups of Orissa
By Kimberly Coole
As I mentioned in my last blog, I thought it would be nice to have a look back at my trip to Orissa a few years ago. Again, rather than break down the trip day by day I’ll give you some information about the tribes I was lucky enough to encounter and then show you the images that I managed to capture. Of all the states in India, Orissa has the largest number of tribes, as many as 62, however I met just 4 tribal groups – the Bonda, the Dongria Kondh, the Paraja and the Kutia Kondh. It’s worth mentioning that access to some tribal areas is still tightly restricted, and hopefully this will protect the tribes’ ancient ways and practices.
The Bonda are an ancient tribe of people numbering approximately 12,000 who live in the isolated hill regions of the Malkangiri district of South-Western Orissa. The tribe is one of the oldest and most primitive in mainland India; their culture has changed little for more than a thousand years. Their isolation and known aggressiveness continue to preserve their culture despite the pressures of an expanding Indian population. Perhaps what makes the group stand out the most is the fact that the Bonda are generally only semi-clothed, the women wear colourfully beaded head-dresses and necklaces, thick silver neck bands and a small piece of material around their waist.
For a list of the 90 portraits used in this video, visit http://www.maysstuff.com/womenid.htm
WOMEN ARE HEROES: A Global Portrait of Strength in Hardship by French Guerrilla Artist-Activist JR
by Maria Popova
Poignant and powerful portraits of physical and emotional survival amidst atrocity.
In 2012, French guerrilla street artist JR won the $100,000 TED Prize for his Inside Out project — a global participatory project seeking to inspire civic engagement through art. But JR’s arguably most provocative project dates back to 2008, when he embarked on an ambitious quest to document the dignity of women in conflict zones and violent environments in his mural-sized portraits, exhibited both as lo-fi public space installations in the local communities whose spirit they capture and in glossy galleries around the world — “a project with many images and few words.” Women Are Heroes, a beautiful addition to these 7 favorite books on street art, collects several dozen of JR’s poignant portraits of women from Brazil, Sudan, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Kenya, India, and Cambodia, each accompanied by a moving personal story.
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