Curator / Indira Barve / Museum / Rijks Museum / Storytelling / Travel

Malabar in European Fantasy

Malabar Couple, Rijks Museum

Malabar Couple, Rijks Museum

In my recent visit to the Rijks Museum in Amsterdam, I found this beautiful porcelain couple labaled ‘Pair of Malabars’. They did not look anything to the Malabaris that I had known, and was greatly amused to find that this was what the 18th century Europeans thought ‘Malabars’ looked like. It is interesting to discover the fantastical ideas we form of other peoples, though no longer do we go so wrong, but we still have a clichĂ© image of people from different countries.

Title Tag

Title Tag

Malabar man Rijks Museum

Malabar man Rijks Museum

The correct word for the caption in the museum would be ‘Pair of Malabaris’ as Malabar is the region, now known as Kerala, and Malabari are the people who were living there. Though according to the ‘Urban Dicionary’ it is now a derogatory word for people from Kerala, need to ask my friends from Kerala if it is true, and below is a picture for your reference to what they look like if you have never been to Kerala.

People from Kerela

People from Kerela

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s