DHUBRI, July 5: Dhubri District Museum – a living archive of antique, history and heritage of lower Assam - will complete 29 years on Friday since its establishment on July 6, 1988. This museum has travelled a long journey of 29 years, overcoming various hurdles and challenges. It finally survived and stood tall with its priceless collection. With collective and exemplary efforts of the district administration, scholars and well-wishers, the museum has successfully collected over 1,000 objects representing the historical, religious and socio-cultural life of people of this region. Though currently housed in a temporary space in the district library, the museum has some of the most valuable treasures collected through donations and purchases.
When contacted, museum sources said that some of rarest collections housed in the museum are an oil lamp with the image of Narayana seated on the back of Garuda, a silver Koch coin on which the inscription reads that it was issued by Lakshmi Narayan dated 1477 saka (1555 AD), and a painted pata on pith sheet showing Hanuman carrying Lakshmana on his back during the battle of Lanka with Ravana. These objects represent a living folk art practised among the Malakars or Bhuimali communities residing in different parts of undivided Goalpara district. Further, a methoni (breast belt) worn by the women of the Tiwa community, locally known as kachang phaskai, and an image of Kali, beautifully rendered with the dhokra technique of metal casting, are also among the valuable collections in the museum.
Talking to The Sentinel, District Museum Officer Mrinmoy Das, who was posted recently, informed that the past 29 years had been really challenging for officers and interested people engaged in preservation and protecting the objects of different periods, times and ages in a proper and scientific manner.
“But all the initial teething periods and phases of hurdles are over, and we are now committed to develop this institution through more public engagement by conducting various events and activities in the days to come. Various projects are already in the pipeline and I believe that if students from schools, educational institutions and general people visit the museum, they will have a deeper understanding of the cultural fabric and significance of the area,” Das said. Das also informed that the present government in Dispur had taken deep interest in developing the cultural sector of each and every corner of the State and so this encouragement and initiative would indeed help the museum to expand in all directions. Das expressed hoped that the museum could grow with its collection, conservation and by public engagement and that it could transform into a vibrant and prime centre for cultural learning among the locals and tourists.