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Ceremonial Artifacts
Asian ➔ Kolattam Sticks

This item, from the Messengers of Hope Collection, is referred to on its accompanying label as "Kolartam sticks for calisthenics". They are actually called Kolattam Sticks, and are used in Kolattam dance performances in India. They are two identical wooden sticks carved and painted with red, blue, and black stripes.;The Messengers of Hope were an organization of Hope College alumni that existed formally from about 1907-1915. They had a relatively small membership of 25-50 individuals, who traveled around the world doing missionary work. Messengers of Hope worked in Asia, India, Africa, and the Middle East. One notable member of the group was Dr. John Otte who worked as a doctor and missionary in China for several years, eventually dieing there in 1910. Many of Otte's writings about his experiences are preserved at the Joint Archives of Holland, in Holland Michigan. The missionaries regularly collected items from the communities in which they worked, and sent them back to Hope College for a museum intended to inspire others to take up missionary work. These sticks were collected by John Banninga who worked in Southern India. Over the years the small museum was moved around campus and many items were lost or borrowed and never returned. The Grand Rapids Public Museum has collected a small representative sample of these items, in order to tell the story of the Messengers of Hope.;This group of items was part of a small museum at Hope College in the early twentieth century. The items were collected by the Messengers of Hope, a group of Hope alumni engaged in missionary work all over the world. As part of their organization's mission the Messengers of Hope collected items from the various cultures they worked with and sent them back to the college in the hope of inspiring future generations of missionaries.;Kollattam, or the stick dance, is one of the most popular dance narratives in Andhra Pradesh. It is also called as Kolannalu or Kolkolannalu. A rural art usually performed during village festivals, kolattam is a combination of rhythmic movements, songs and music. It is known as Dandia ras in Gujrat, Garbha in Rajasthan, etc.The Kolatam group comprises dancers in the range of 8 to 40. In kolattam, performed by 8 to 40 artists grouped in pairs, The stick provides the main rhythm. The artists led by the leader move into two circles, the inner circle receiving the strikes while the outer circle delivering them. Kolatam offers a great variety of entertainment to the spectators as well as the participants.
circa 1910
Wood, Paint
9" h 0.5" w
Current Location Status:
On Exhibit
Gift Of Hope College
Be Curious (October 1 2013 – March 1 2015)
Rotating display of recently accessioned artifacts.
Related Entity:
Hope College (donor)
Related Place: