Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Rajasthani Folk Heroes, Grants and Scholarships

Julla with laquered wood. Rajasthan, Northwest India. (Ref: IN306)

A new exhibition, likely to interest readers of the SAALG blog, entitled: Rajasthani Folk Heroes & Recent Acquisitions, has just opened in Norwich at The South Asian Decorative Arts & Crafts Collection (SADACC).  
SAALG members are warmly invited to view new acquisitions in the gallery, and the Rajasthani exhibition at:
The Old Skating Rink Gallery
34-36 Bethel Street
Norwich, NR2 1NR 
01603 663890

Samples of Rajasthani art and crafts and recent acquisitions in the collection include:  
Tribal Dolls From Banswara or Dunghaphur, Rajasthan. (Ref: IN247)
 Bullock-Cart Driver - Patna School c.1820
Admission is free and the opening times are 9.30am to 5.00pm Monday to Friday and 9.30am to 5.30pm on Saturdays. The gallery is closed on Bank Holidays and Sundays. 

Travel Grants and Scholarships
In addition, student readers of this blog will be interested in the travel and educational scholarships and grants SADACC funds each year for postgraduate study of the decorative arts, crafts and culture of South Asia.   Preference is usually given to students from the Eastern region of the UK.   For further details,  contact, supplying information on your interests and experience.

The SADACC Trust is a registered charity (RCN: 1137415) funded primarily by Country and Eastern Ltd.

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

War Horse, Army Donkey, Military Mule

I was pleased to be alerted to this blog entry which features a National Library of Scotland photograph.

The photograph, taken during World War I, shows a man with his arm around a mule . On the back he has written about his animal companion: "She is very stupid but I am very fond of her."

Michael Morpurgo's 2007 moving book War Horse is due out as a Steven Spielberg film this month. It tells the story of farm horse Joey's journey through the battlefields of the First World War.

Morpurgo was inspired to write the book after reading that millions of horses perished on the Western Front. Used in the thick of battle in cavalry charges and for pulling artillery, horses, mules and donkeys were seen as more reliable than
mechanised means.

Horses were very important in British India for the same reasons. The National Library's Medical History of British India website contains many digitised reports dedicated to the procurement of suitable breeding horses for serving the army. Horses imported from England often sickened and died en route. Those which survived were found to be unable to stand hard work in a tropical climate. In 1892 it was recorded that Indian-bred horses were hardier, with greater powers of endurance. Arab and Persian breeds had the same sought-after traits.

Horses, donkeys and mules who served in India, like their human counterparts perished from a variety of ailments and afflictions as this page shows.

Perhaps Michael Morpurgo would consider writing a book about one of these animals?

(Photograph is from the National Library of Scotland's Digital Gallery, First World War Official Photographs collection, image number 74549584)