Sunday, April 24, 2011

Inauguration - Kreedaa Kaushalya 2011

Prof. Kalegowda Nagavara, noted litterateur and folklorist of Mysore inaugurated the Kreedaa Kaushalya exhibition on Thursday 21 April 2011 at 6.30 pm at Pratima Gallery. He was accompanied by his wife Smt. Kempamma Nagavara. The informal function was attended by a select group of invitees and well wishers of Ramsons Kala Pratishtana.
L-R: Smt. Kempamma Nagavara, Sri R.G. Singh, Prof. Kalegowda Nagavara and Sri M.B. Singh

Professor and his wife appreciating the terracotta figures of children playing Aligulimane (Mancala) under Aralikatte by artist Sri Venkataramana Palimar (Venki) of Palimar, Udupi.

L-R: Sri Srikantha Sharma, the creator of the Aralikatte, Prof. Nagavara, Smt. Kempamma and Sri D. Ram Singh

The Nagavara couple inaugurated the exhibition by playing a beautifully crafted silver Aligulimane. 

The Chief Guest giving an informal speech at the gathering.

Sri D. Ram Singh, Prof. Nagavara and his wife at the inauguration of Kreedaa Kaushalya 2011

Prof. Kalegowda Nagavara trying a hand at the game of Six Handed Pachisi
Artist S.F. Huseni demonstrating the art of Sanjhi paper craft to the chief guest

Srikantha Sharma giving a tour of the exhibition to Prof. Nagavara

Monday, April 18, 2011

App of an old game

I came across this interesting application of a variation of Tic-Tac-Toe which is an old Indian game. This game is known by many names including “Padavettu”, “Nira”, “Pada” and “Kallukali” in Kerala, India. Thanks to Dhanan Sekhar Edathara who gave its link on the Facebook group page of Ramsons Kala Pratishtana

FV Chikmath Paintings

Paintings which adorn this year's exhibition brochure are created by the artist Sri F.V. Chikmath from Dharwad. Getting trained in traditional Surpur miniature paintings Chikmath later interpreted this traditional idiom with a blend of his creativity on canvas in acrylic medium. When we at Ramsons Kala Pratishtana came across his impressive works, we asked him whether he can do a couple of canvases with board game theme and he readily agreed. The result is below for you to see.

 Here you can see a couple playing the popular board game of Karnataka - Chaukabara which is called by several other names in and outside the state.

This canvas depicts another pair engrossed in the game of Nav Keti keta, a war game.

Exhibition 2011 - Invitation

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Snakes and Ladders Temple Design

 Last month I designed a board for Snakes and Ladders game in traditional Indian design of Mukti Pata or Gyan Chaupar to be created using Kalamkari craft form. I was surprised yesterday when I saw the game board created out of my design so quickly and sent by courier. Given below are the images of my design and the board created thereof.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Board Game Studies Colloquim 2011 at Belgium

KHBO-Spellenarchief, Campus KHBO, May 4th – 7th, 2011

The International Society for Board Game Studies holds yearly colloquia in which scholars, university professors, museum curators, historians, archaeologists, psychologists, mathematicians, game inventors, collectors and others share their research results on board games. Previous BGS colloquia have been held in the Netherlands, Italy, Switzerland, Spain, Germany , USA, UK, Brazil, Austria, Portugal, Israel and France. 
The KHBO-Spellenarchief, a study center for board games, affiliated with a Teachers Education Department, will organize the Board Game Studies Colloquium XIV. The archive holds more than 20.000 different board games and organises workshops and seminars for students and professionals.
The Colloquium will be hosted at the campus of the KHBO (Katholieke Hogeschool Brugge Oostende) in Brugge, Belgium.

For more information click here.

Exhibition 2011 - Brochure

The world over, when game lovers were chasing their opponents in varieties of race games on board, someone broke the barrier of this sequential chase in India. Ladders were introduced to jump from a lower square to a higher square quite further up the sequence, similarly snakes were let loose which caused a pawn at its hood to travel from that higher square to a lower square further down the sequence. Ladders were virtues while snakes were vices, thus the game was a tool to inculcate moral and ethical values in players. It was called Moksha Pata or Paramapada Sopana or Gyan Chaupar.

Ladders and snakes are graphical paths linking a source square to a destination square on the board which is understood even by kids. Some versions of Gyan Chaupar do not have either snakes or ladders, instead there are written instructions like 'Go to square number so and so'. This is similar to a sequential computer programming language with 'goto' statements. Ancient board game and a modern computer language - what are the odds!

India is home to many such board games which have travelled abroad and gained global popularity. Majority of board games with exception of Pachisi, Chaduranga, Backgammon and Snakes and Ladders can be played using minimum equipments. Any ground in a shaded area can be scratched on with a charcoal or a sharp tool to demarcate the play area. Pebbles, twigs or seeds become game counters while split tamarind seeds can be used instead of cowries or dice.

In not so distant past, temples were centres of socio-cultural activities where people often gathered either for festivals or celebrations. At the end of a long day's rituals and work people unwound over a game or two which were usually etched out on the hard stone floors of the temple. In addition to temples, game patterns are also seen on the floors of roadside and riverside mantaps where travellers rested in bygone days.

The research team of Ramsons Kala Pratishtana has documented hundreds of temples, mantaps and houses having game patterns etched on their floors and quadrangles. Game patterns in temples are testimony to the fact that board games once enjoyed huge popularity devoid of victorian prejudice. We later inherited the convoluted perspective of our colonial masters to denounce our own knowledge systems including gaming culture which had evolved over several millennia. Board games were not only excellent pastimes but also an integral part of family structure of the Indian joint family system.

Ramsons Kala Pratishtana has organised 4th issue of its annual exhibition 'Kreedaa Kaushalya' to rediscover board games in the rich aesthetics of Indian craft forms.

Come play!