Idukki's migration museum: Unveiling the tale of settlers through art

Idukki's migration museum
Artist Jomon George among his creations at the park. Photo: Special Arrangement

Idukki: The history of the Idukki district is also a chronicle of migration and that of settlers. Migration to Idukki by people from different regions in Kerala began as early as 1822 from Malabar and it has been a history of perseverance of settlers pitted against nature and the wild.
Throwing light into Idukki’s history is the new Migration Museum which tells the tale of how the district took shape through eight different stories said through narrative art with the help of sculptures and 3D backgrounding.

District Tourism Promotion Council’s Rs 3-cr Migration Museum (Kodiyetta Smarakam) is located on a hill slope near Idukki Park and is also close to the Idukki Arch Dam, the biggest landmark in the district. 
The trials and tribulations of the migrant farmers from Malabar and Travancore and from the lower reaches of Idukki and Kottayam are conveyed through upstanding sculptures and installations in the park in monochrome colour. One of the themes conveyed through sculptures is the struggles of the migrant farmers and their protests led by A K Gopalan (AKG) and father Vadakkan in Idukki.

Different installations set up along with sculptures at the Migration Museum in Idukki. Photo: Special Arrangement

“We have given a 3D feel to all the sculptures and their ensembles which include relief artworks. The backdrop of the installations is given similar light and shades that they fit in aptly to the milieu of the park. Cement and concrete form the base of sculptures and all the formations have been made damp proof,” says artist Jomon George who has done the sculptures.
The animal-human conflict in the district also finds a place in the museum with sculptures of wild elephants entering settlement areas. Horridness of the natural calamities common to Idukki during the rainy season is yet another theme at the park.

The liveliness of the sculptures of humans and animals is the most uncommon feature of all the artistic formations in the museum. The last installation is that of a picturesque village where the idyllic dwellers go about their daily chores and the story told through the sculptures ends on such a happy note.
The artistic creations that are erected in the open can be seen by walking through a 2 km-long pathway. The park will be inaugurated within a month, DTPC officials said.  

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