Thursday, 6 May 2010

Who owns the documents?

Mudugar and Kurumbar are two tribal communities, who can be traced back to the tradition of Sangam period in Tamil Nadu. The songs that they sing, the stories that they tell and the culture that they practice have similarities with the descriptions of Sangam people. But influences of external cultures could have made drastic changes in their life, culture and literature. So it becomes impossible, now for the community members and researchers, to trace the authorship or creatorship of oral literature and practices. So, the question of ownership is a difficult one to answer. The complexity is that it certainly belongs to the contemporary tribal people and their dead ancestors. So the photographs, videos, dissertations and articles written on the literature and culture of Mudugar and Kurumbar actually belong to the community. The Research Centre was founded to collect and centralise already existing materials and to document memories which are diminishing and fast forgotten. Here is a link from which is a trailer of a video-documentary on Mudugar. The documentary is titled The Story of Mudugar.

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