Pune: The Department of Anthropology at the Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU) is still awaiting a larger space for their Irawati Karve Museum, which is located in the basement of the department.
The museum was established in 1978 and was named after woman anthropologist and founder of the department Irawati Karve on December 15, 1993. The museum hosts an array of collection of rare artefacts from tribe culture, Adivasi groups from Maharashtra and other states as well as 20th century antiques.
The gallery showcases artefacts of hunting and fishing equipment from various tribal groups like Bhil and Katkar. It also exhibits Bohada masks of Thakar and Warli tribes, Palia deities of Bhil tribes, terracotta votive offering and ritual icon for ancestors of the tribe of Pindwada region of Rajasthan.
However, many new and old collections of such artefacts are lying in a cupboard, due to less space in the museum.
According to sources, the department has been demanding a larger space to establish a spacious museum from the university from past few years but the varsity has not sanctioned any land to them.
Talking to Sakal Times, sources said that every year, students, who go on the field, bring back few collections based on their research. Therefore, the collection increases every time.
Nevertheless, these collections cannot be displayed due to space constraint. The land next to the department was asked to be given so that a museum could be established but no positive move has been taken yet.
When approached, the Head of the Anthropology Department, Shaunak Kulkarni, agreed that the department has asked for a large space from the university. He said, “Right now, we are focusing more on gaining popularity about the museum and making people aware about it.”
Speaking on the issue, Vice-Chancellor Nitin Karmalkar said, “I will immediately pursue the proposal with the head of the department and accordingly make a decision.”