Bastar tribes in Chhattisgarh have tattoos. Some call it ‘Godna’ while some call it ‘Bana’. Women and men both get Godnas and feel that they will be free from negativity and negative energy.
Although tattoos are a part of tribal culture in this area, they are slowly disappearing. It seems that the youth have either lost an interest or are simply reluctant to continue this tradition. Bastar district government decided to intervene to maintain the Bastar tattoo culture. As part of the many steps taken in this regard, a traditional tattoo training camp was organised in the Bastar Academy of Dance, Art & Culture for the tribal youth.
The training program was attended by twenty youths of the tribe. They were taught traditional arts and techniques. “I always say that culture, tradition and skills should revolve around any kind of development. Culture and tradition are more valuable when it comes to the development of tribes. Tattoo has traditionally been part of tribes’ life, but the younger generation was not embracing it. This residential training was designed to educate them about the tradition and show them how to modernize it. This way it becomes more relevant and gets accepted by the people,” Collector Chandan Kumar said.
From 23 May through 26 June, the training took placeJune. The participants learned about traditional tattoos in the Bastar tribes as well as how to create them modern. Godnas made by hand would have severe consequences. Participants were shown how to use both a rotary and a coil tattoo machine during the course. This allows the artist to do the job more quickly and reduces pain for those who are getting tattoos.
TATTOOS FOR LIVELIHOOD
The youths received a tool kit to help them start their own business after the training. “The whole idea is to preserve this and propagate it by encouraging the youngsters to take it up for their livelihood. It was quite successful. Many of the trainees started getting customers even before the completion of the training programme,” Mr. Kumar said.
The administration plans to organize the second stage of this program in September, since most community members have taken up farming. To ensure that the administration has a greater customer base, and to protect their livelihood, they are cautious with how many people will be receiving training.
Leave a Reply