Heritage and history of Goa
Dept of History, Dhempe College of Arts & Science, Goa
A tiny beauty spot on the face of India, Goa is a true kaleidoscope of colours, customs, traditions, attires, cuisines, feasts, festivals, history and heritage. Goa presents a breath taking celebration of life in all her vivid hues. Equally fascinating are her destination characteristics ranging from the emerald Sahyadris (Western ghats) in the east, the romance of history with the Terekhol fort crowing her northern borders, the blazing gold and the silver sands bordering her exquisite 105 kms of coastline flanked by the Arabian sea the valiant taluka of Canacona to the South.
Styled as the ‘Sunaparant' (golden land on the west coast), ‘Aparant', ‘Goi', ‘Gomant', ‘Gomantak', ‘Gorashtra', ‘Goparashtra', ‘Kalyangude', ‘Govapuri and finally Goa perhaps to rhyine with Lisboa the Portuguese capital, Goa's pre-history flowered. The Sanguem and Sattari talukas mirror Goa's pre-historic antiquity. The petroglyphs of Fansaimal, Kazur, Pirla and Mauxi showcase Goa's stone age (megalithic) rock-art. The first three being on the banks of the virgin Kushawati, resting on a laterite rock-bed. Goa's oldest rock formations of the trondhjemite gneise and schist of the Anmod and Palolem rocks.
Palaeolithic cave existence is seen at Dabolim, Adkon, Shigao, Fatorpa, Arli, Maulinguinim, Diwar, Sanguem, Pilerne, Aquem-Margaon etc. Difficulty in carbon-dating the laterite rock compounds the problems of a Goa historian. The earliest communities living in Goa were the Kunbis to which stock belong the other agriculturists the Gawdas and the Velips. The fisherfolks the Kharwis or the Kols, the Mhars are the other tribes. These tribes with a very rich heritage of their folk songs, dances, music, agriculture set up the earliest village communities called the ‘Gaunkaris' which the Portuguese later addressed as the ‘Communidades'. These Gaukaris were the socio-economic democratic republican units and functioned self-sufficiently ‘Santer', Betal' were folk deities of Goa.
These communities were followed by the Dravidians and the Aryans. Dynastic history of Goa replete with kings, queens, princes, palaces and the works begins with the 4th Century BC as follows:
“Mauryas (322 BC t0 185 BC ??), Satavahanas (50 BC-250 AD), Chuttus (250 AD-4th cent AD), western Kshatrapas 9150 AD), Kuras, Maharathis, Ishvakus, Kurjara Pratihars, Abhiras (3rd Cent. AD), Trikutas or Traikootakas (456-492 AD), Kalachuris (416-6th cent AD), Nagas, Bhojas (4th cent AD-6th century AD), Kaikeyas, Konkan Mauryas (7th cent AD), Sendrakas, Chalukyas of Badami (6th century AD-8th century AD), Rashtrakootas (8th cent AD), Shilaharas-soth Konkan, north Konkan and Kolhapur Shilaharas (8th –10th cent AD) followed by the Kadambas (11th century to mid-14th century AD).
The Kadamba period is designated as the Golden age of Goa.'
The 14th century Goa saw invasions of the Delhi Sultans and the Honawar Nawab. The century also saw Goa as a shuttle between two rival-the Vijayanagara Empire and the Bahamanis. The Bahamani yoke over Goa was followed by the Adilshahi rule in 1498. This was Islamic polity. Many Hindus were converted to Islam during the Bahamani-Adilshahi times or since the Arab times of ancient Goa.
In the year 1510, the Portuguese ‘governador' Afonso de Albuquerque conquered the island of Tiswadi (also known as the Goa Island) from the Adilshah of Bijapur. It was only by the end of the 18th century 1791 to be precise the whole of the present day boundaries of Goa came under the Portuguese rule.
The Portuguese introduced Roman Catholicism in Goa in the 16th century, converted numerous Hindus and Muslims to Christianity, built churches and luzitanized the lifestyles of the converts. The world heritage monuments the Se Cathedral and Basilica of Bam Jesus and other churches and convents were built in the 16th-17th centuries at Old Goa the Capital of the Portuguese. Goa also saw the reign of Shivaji, Sambhaji, the Mughals, the Sawantwadi Bhonsles, the Peshwas and the Soundekars. Francis Xavier, the Jesuit missionary facilitated the spread of Christianity in Goa. His body lies preserved in a silver casket in the Basilica at Old Goa. The inquisition period (1560-1812) was the darkest period in Goan History. Temples were razed to the ground.
Goa has a great cuisine with fish, fish-curry with rice (xit-codi) occupying a central position. A variety comprising of shell fish, lobsters, prawns, sweets like bebinca, mangane, curries like solkadi, caju feni, dry salted fish, cashew nuts etc. Konkani is the mother of all Goans included in the 8th schedule of the Constitution on 20th August, 1992. Goa has some unique festivals like the Shigmo, Carnival was introduced by the Portuguese. Dhalo, Musal Khel, Tonyamel, Goff, Veerabhadra, Zagor are the unique folk festivals, folk dances and songs of Goa. She has historic temples like the Mangueshi, Shantadurga, Kavlem, Mhalsa-Mardol, Devki Krishna-Marcela, Kamaxi-Shiroda, Budbudyanchi talli at Netravali, Mahadev temple at Tambdi Surla, Saptakoteshwar at Narva-Bicholim and historic mosques like the Safa Masjid at Ponda.
Goa also showcases Jain and Buddhist heritage. Dravidians and Aryans too form the racial composition in Goa. The Saraswats gave to Goa a unique culture of their own and an exquisite tasty cuisine. The Kunbis, Kharwis, Gavlis (Dhangars), gave her original face. The Portuguese introduced a Western Culture in Goa which blends with the Indian culture and today the Goan costumes, music, food, lifestyle, art, architecture is a fusion of this blend. West met East on the shores of Goa. Goa today is a perfect amalgamation of Indo-Portuguese culture, which is a legacy of her history.
Goa saw revolts of the Pintos, the Ranes followed by a freedom struggle since 1946 led by Dr. T.B. Cunha, Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia, Sardar Karnal Singh (martyr), Sudhatai Joshi, Vishwanath Lawande, Nilkanth Karapurkar, Vinayak Mayekar, Vatsala Kirtani, Anthony D'Souza, Peter Alvares, Berta Menezes Braganza, Alfred Afonso, Mark Fernandes, Dr. Pundalik Gaitonde, Diwakar Kakodkar, Sharda Savaikar, Mohan Ranade, Baba Maperi, Jose Inacio Loyola, Papu Shirodkar, Sindhutai Deshpande, Hirve Guruji and many others.
Conservation of underwater archaeological artifacts: An assessment
Gopal Rao and Shriguru Bagi
Archaeological Survey of India, Mini Circle, Panaji, Goa 403 001
The term conservation means an action taken to prevent decay to prolong the life of our cultural property with minimum interference. Conservation of underwater findings is a challenging job. This underwater property can be traced from the substratum of the seafloors such as sandy, muddy and rocky type of habitat and the regions like bathyal region (3000 meter depth), abyssal region (3000 to 6000 mtrs depth) and hadal region (above 6000 mts. Depths) of the sea.
Scientists, Engineers, Archaeologists and Technicians must play significant role in preservation of the cultural property. Findings of underwater, may be in the river or from the deep sea, irrespectively comes under the category of underwater artifacts. This under water cultural property come in the form of stone objects, metal objects, wooden objects, bone and ivory objects, shell objects, lead objects, earthen objects, ceramics etc. These artifacts require cleaning, consolidation, gap filling and surface protection.
The under water archaeological artifacts found during the exploration and excavation could be of organic or inorganic in nature. Hence method of treatment is varying from one artifact to other and depending upon the condition of the artifact and its material. Immediately after obtaining the artifact from the water it is necessary to keep the same in the similar condition and observe the condition carefully before moving to the treatment.
Navigational aids: A search and rescue operation
India has a rich maritime heritage, which needs to be explored in all areas. There has been a tremendous fluctuation in maritime activities through the ages at different times and in different regions right from the primitive stage to the progressive stage and further to an advanced stage of e-navigation.
The present paper provides a holistic approach to the study of maritime navigational aids inherited, conserved and practiced in India both along the west and east coast during the ancient and medieval period.
Conservation of antiquities
National Institute of Oceanography, Dona Paula 403 004 Goa
Artifacts preservation is one of the most important parts from an archaeological site. Artifacts recovered from anaerobic environments (i.e buried in sediment) are recovered in better condition than artifacts recovered from aerobic environments.
From Bet Dwarka Island the antiquities consisted of Iron, copper, stone, terracotta and shells and chemical treatment was undertaken for the metal objects only i. e. Iron and Copper. Before the treatment each object was weighted in the laboratory.
Iron: Four Iron objects (2 arrow heads and 2 nails) were treated with the immersion of objects in 5% dilute caustic soda solution a few times for the complete removal of any chloride present, followed by through washing with distilled water and drying.
Copper: Coins, fish hook and rings were separately immersed in alkaline solution of Potassium Sodium Tartrate (KNaC4HO6,5H2O) by dissolving 300gms of Potassium Sodium Tartrate and 100gms of Sodium Hydroxide in two liter of distilled water. The objects remained for over 12 hours in the solution. All the Cupric salts in the object are dissolved by the solution, which turns blue as a result. The same treatment was repeated for a few objects. The treatment followed by the thorough brushing and washing under running water.