Research Feature > Arna Jharna, the desert museum
‘Arna-Jharna’ means ‘forest’ and ‘spring’. Unlike most museums where what is of value is encased inside, Arna Jharna includes the desert, its environment and its inhabitants as its exhibits. Created by the late Komal Kothari, one of India’s leading folklorists and oral historians, the Arna-Jharna Museum is an interactive learning experience linked to traditional knowledge systems.
Once an abandoned sandstone mine surrounded by a harsh and dry terrain, the Arna Jharna Museum used rain water harvesting and created a lake which has become the haunt and nesting ground of birds, including the peacock. The area now also has a rich biodiversity of indigenous grasses, cactus, and the resilient trees of the desert.
Exhibition on Brooms:
“What seems totally insignificant, if not disposable, is what holds the world together in its capacity to clean and order space. The broom brings us into contact with grasses, plants, and other botanical resources. In rural Rajasthan, village women make their own brooms from whatever is available in their environment–leaves, twigs, shrubs, and waste material.”
The Museum looks at different kinds of brooms, the broom making communities, the way brooms are made and the future of this industry. The Museum welcomes artists and researchers, organises art workshops for local children and interactive folk music sessions.
Arna Jharna aims to share the nuances of rural life practices and knowledge systems. The museum is open to all and specially welcomes schools, universities, youth organizations, researchers, artists and activists to interact with them.
< Arna Jharna: The Desert Museum of Rajasthan, Village Moklawas, Jodhpur, Rajasthan. For more information on the museum and the Broom exhibit, visit their website. >
All images courtesy the Arna Jharna website.
Filed under: Indian Craft, Indian Research | 3 Comments
Tags: Arna Jharna, Broom Exhibition, Desert Museum, Komal Kothari, Rajasthan