Traditional Craftsmanship > Rock-art in Panasaimol

Rock-art in Panasaimol

Dhandole is a small hamlet of Rivon village of Sanguem, where there is one area locally known as Panasaimol. Etymologically, the name suggests that once upon a time this area was full of jackfruits. In May 1993, Panasaimol came to light when researchers discovered the first evidence of rock art in Goa's Western Ghats. This rock art, in the form of engravings on manganese containing laterite, was an indicator of macro fauna of the area. In the past, Panasaimol and adjoining areas were dense jungle, and the natural habitat for a wide range of flora and fauna. Even today, a large part of these areas is rich in biological wealth, with a bewildering complexity in plant, animal and bird life.

Hundreds of petroglyphs carved on to the rock depict some of the wild animals found in this region. This archaeological heritage throws light on the paleoclimatic conditions prevailing in and around Panasaimol and the environmental changes that have taken place. The locals in Dhandole used to call these engravings as Rakhanyachi Chitra or pictures drawn by the cattle herders. The forest dwelling community once residing in this area had an intimate knowledge of animal forms, their habitats, mating season, locomotion and behavioural patterns.

Several explanations pertaining to the rock art of Panasaimol have been offered by scholars. One is that because of the importance given to hunting, the petroglyphs of animals could be associated with rituals and magic. For instance, the art of engraving could have been a ritual to ensure a successful hunt. Another explanation offered is that Panasaimol might have been the meeting place for the settlers who could share hunting techniques and knowledge while engravings served as the media for passing information from one generation to the next.

Gaur, deer, wild humped zebu are some of the animals that are predominantly engraved on the rock. These animals might have been hunted widely by these people whose diet consisted mainly of roots, shoots, nuts and fruits, besides the meat of wild animals. The engraved animals are mainly herbivorous and were found in large numbers in this ecologically rich region. Some animals are shown bearing wound marks which indicate that hunting of wild animals was common. Though a large number of engravings are of animals, there is also a beautiful engraving of a peacock.

The rock art gallery of Panasaimol reflects not only artistic skills of our ancestors who were living in this region but also tells us about their cognitive and cultural beginnings. These people carved out figures and scenes related to humans and animals that shared their abode. The ecotheological roots of some of the religious beliefs which prevail in Goa can be traced through these petroglyphs. They serve as a sort of pictorial history book which reflects our ancestors' love for the various elements of biodiversity and ecology.

Contributed by Rajendra Kerkar

blog comments powered by Disqus
Muslin Fabric

This gossamer light muslin fabric has found mention in the writings of many visitors to India, even as far back as the 3rd century B.C. A great deal of muslin was produced in and exported from Bengal. Dacca was the main region where cotton was cultivated due to the high humidity of the region, which prevented the delicate thread from breaking on contact with the air. The cotton spun was very white since the Brahmaputra and the Ganges Rivers have bleaching properties. The chikan workers in Bengal used this fine muslin for embroidery.

Stitches in Chikankari

Double-Star Earring, Peacock Feather's Eye, Sidhual, Makra, Mandarzi, Bulbulchashm, Tajmahal, Phooljali, Phanda, Dhoom, Gol, murri, Janjeera, Keel, Kangan, Bakhia, Dhania Patti, lambi Murri, Kapkapi, Karan Phool, Bijli, Ghaspatti, Rozan, Meharki, Kaj, Chameli, Chane ki Patti, Balda, Jora, Pachni, Tapchim Kauri, Hathkati and Daraj of various types.