Exhibition on Hinduism with sections on Adivasis, Vedic ritual

Jan E.M. Houben j_e_m_houben at YAHOO.COM
Thu Nov 3 00:45:05 UTC 2005

An exhibition on Hindu religion called "De Goden
Verzoeken", planned by South Asia curator B.
Meulenbeld, will start on 17 December 2005 in the
Tropenmuseum, Amsterdam. Thanks to some items of
my collection of sacrificial utensils there is a
section on Vedic ritual (mainly on Soma-pressing
and on the Pravargya), illustrated with brief
videoclips from recent performances in India. 
Jan Houben

Amsterdam, 19 September 2005

Dealing with the Gods at the Tropenmuseum
Exhibition about Rituals in the Hindu Religion
17 December 2005 to 10 September 2006

On 17 December 2005 the Tropenmuseum in Amsterdam
launches a new exhibition entitled Dealing with
the Gods - Rituals in Hindu Religion. The show
introduces visitors to the different gods,
traditions, fragrances and colours of Hindu
religion. In the show the public is invited to
discover the Hindu deities. Following the path of
wealth, wisdom or love, visitors make their way
through the Hindu world. Hundreds of exhibits are
presented, ranging from domestic shrines, prints
and objects to temple statues made especially for
the exhibition in India. A highlight of the
museum collection is a figure of the Hindu sun
god Surya which is one thousand years old.

The central theme of the exhibition is contact
between Hindus and their gods. There are many
different rituals in the religion that make
contact possible. Exuberant celebrations mark
festivals such as Holi and Divali, other customs
relate to birth, marriage and death, while many
simple practices are for everyday use. Because
whether it’s in the temple or at work, at home or
in the car, for Hindus, the gods are everywhere.

With India as the backdrop, the imagery of
Bollywood and the hundreds of fascinating objects
presented in the exhibition provide a
magnificently colourful and theatrical show.
Rarely shown exhibits from the museum’s own
collection are displayed alongside remarkable
loans from Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford and the
Victoria & Albert Museum in London, as well as
various private collections. The classical Indian
objects in the exhibition are accompanied by a
range of audiovisual material. Visitors can
imagine themselves on the banks of the Ganges,
for example, the holiest river for Hindus. The
exhibition contains unique sections on the
Adivasis, and on the ritual of the Vedic people,
which bring the visitor back to the stone age.
Since Martin Haug imported Vedic ritual objects
from India to Europe in the nineteenth century,
this is probably the first time that Vedic ritual
and ancient techniques it conserves (such as the
making of fire from rubbing wooden sticks) are
represented in a Western museum. 

The Path of Love
Visitors have a choice of three personal routes
through life as a theme with which to experience
the exhibition: the path of wisdom (linked to the
god Ganesha), the path of love (linked to the god
Krishna) or the path of wealth (linked to the
goddess Lakshmi). Each path provides a key with
which to start interactive presentations. This
allows visitors to participate in rituals, to
receive small (digital) gifts and to find extra
information. Each path allows visitors to learn
how to Deal with the Gods.

Museum Night Preview 
This coming 5 November is Museum Night and at the
Tropenmuseum the theme is Indian Delight. The
museum will be full of all things Indian,
offering a preview of Dealing with the Gods. For
more information about the programme see


For more information and visual material please
contact the Tropenmuseum, Anna Brolsma, T. +31
(0)20 - 5688418 or e-mail a.brolsma at kit.nl.

*** *** *** *** ***

Jan E.M. Houben,
Directeur d'Etudes,
Sources et Histoire de la Tradition Sanskrite
Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes,
A la Sorbonne,
45-47, rue des Ecoles,
75005 Paris -- France. 
J_E_M_Houben at yahoo.com
Homepage: http://home.planet.nl/~j.e.m.houben
Website: www.jyotistoma.nl

Yahoo! FareChase: Search multiple travel sites in one click.

More information about the INDOLOGY mailing list