Curator’s note

Curator’s Note

The art of herding and breeding animals on open lands has been evolving for thousands of years now. This practice is more commonly known as pastoralism and the herding communities are known as pastoralists. India is home to number of such pastoral communities and yet, we know little about these communities, their food, culture or lives.These pastoralists inhabit remote yet extraordinarily beautiful landscapes, bear constant witness to nature’s fury and bounty alike, share strong bonds of mutual love with their animals and have an innate understanding of nature.

The arid lands of Kutch have been home to pastoral communities for more than five centuries and their unique life-world has given birth to  delightful forms of poetry, music, arts, cuisine, and value systems. I and my team of curators including Shabnam Virmani, Vipul Rikhi, Carole Douglas, and Ankit Chadha have attempted to recreate the spectacle of pastoral lives, landscapes, and livelihoods on the arid lands of Kutch IGNCA, Delhi. Tales of pastoralism from other parts of the country have been incorporated to add texture to the exhibition narrative. Several day events that accompany the exhibition have been designed to dive deep and present a hands on perspective on specific aspects of pastoral lives.


Sushma Iyengar