Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Crib architecture

The 'crib tableaux' created all over Goa during Christmas season offer interesting insights into the imagination of their young creators. These village boys and girls build models of a broad range of architecture ranging from rustic timber huts, houses on stilts and mud houses to multistoried mansions, 'Herod's Palaces' and medieval castles. Architectural features like turrets, gables, spires, balconies and balustrades abound. Rope bridges are also a favourite item. Geographical features that recur often are streams, hills, waterfalls, ponds with live fish, steep mountain paths and even a snowfall. These scenarios are from Utorda, Cansaulim and Velim.


The popular imagination of the original Nativity scene blends with vernacular architecture as well as landscapes of far off lands that the young lads may have seen. These tableaux would surely make for an interesting sociological study. If one thinks that the tough Goan boys who work on board ships and in the Middle East and even those based in Goa lack artistic skills, one has to only look at these painstakingly crafted landscapes to discover their aesthetic spirit. Here's a group of 'architects' who built a crib at Cansaulim.

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