© GRASSI Museum für Völkerkunde zu Leipzig, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, Foto: Tom Dachs

Winds of Change – Sound Stories from the Andaman and Nicobar Islands

The monsoon winds have dominated life on the Andaman and Nicobar Islands in the Indian Ocean for thousands of years. Today, the islands' inhabitants face additional challenges caused by climate change, mass tourism, politics, and their impact on the social equilibrium.

  • Opening Hours daily 10—18, Monday closed
  • Admission Fees admission free

In diesem Raum

In this room, you can hear many things: coral reefs, the rainforest, and sawmills, but above all, the islands' inhabitants. They tell their stories, which often go back to when the archipelago was a British penal colony and their ancestors from all parts of the world were deported there. The interlocutors with African, Southeast Asian, or Indian family biographies address environmental pollution, earthquakes, and the effects of tourist mega-projects.

© GRASSI Museum für Völkerkunde zu Leipzig, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, Foto: Tom Dachs
Ausstellungsansicht "Winds of Change"

Diese Ausstellung

Ethnomusicologist Rolf Killius developed this exhibition in partnership with Prince Rashid Yusoof, Prince of Nancowry Island, and the museum. The Leipzig collection contains many cultural objects from Prince Rashid Yusoof's ancestors. We address their origin and relevance here and plan to continue exploring them collectively in the future.

The Living and the Dead

A devastating tsunami struck the Andaman and Nicobar Islands archipelago due to a powerful undersea earthquake in 2004. The tsunami left behind a devastated infrastructure and caused profound changes in the cultural and religious life of the islands: Countless ritual objects, known as kareau and hintekui, were washed away in the floodwaters. A considerable part of the cultural heritage they embodied disappeared.

The kareau, human-like figures from the Nicobar Islands, represented highly respected deceased persons such as heads of families and healers. People placed them in their homes, where they brought protection to the family members. During certain festivals, they were resurrected. Through their destruction as a result of the tsunami, the objects on display here from the museum's collections take on a special meaning for the people of Nicobar Islands. How can we jointly approach their future?

Prince Rashid Yusoof

Prince Rashid Yusoof is the great-grandson of the queen of Nancowry Island in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. He holds a P.G. Diploma in Business Management from Chennai and was honoured with an Honorary Doctor of Philosophy from Medicina Alternativa, The Open International University of Colombo, Sri Lanka, for his devotion to the people of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Like his great-grandmother, grandmother, mother and elder sister Rani Aysha he continues to be one of the most respected Indigenous leaders of the Islands. 

Rolf Killius is a museum consultant, exhibition curator, ethnomusicologist, oral historian and videographer based in London/UK. Presently he is a guest curator for non-European musical instruments at the Musical Instruments Museum in Markneukirchen, Germany, as well as an oral historian and contributor for the Qatar Digital Library Portal of the Qatar National Library.

© GRASSI Museum für Völkerkunde zu Leipzig, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, Foto: Tom Dachs
Prince Rashid Yusoof (re.) und Rolf Killius


Further Exhibitions

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in Völkerkundemuseum Herrnhut

Buddha in einem Schrein

Museum für Völkerkunde Dresden

im Japanischen Palais

reich verzierte Holztür mit Fenster


in Residenzschloss

Münzen, Medaillen und Orden
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