If you think Goa is just about beautiful beaches then probably you are wrong. Goa has rich culture beyond just the Portuguese and French colonies and traditions. Unfortunately the real Goa, before it was transformed by the French and Portuguese, can now only be seen in museums. One such beautiful museum showcasing the tradition and culture of Goan people is the Big-foot Museum.
The museum is well maintained by the owner. The staff will also put on the audio guide on your request. The outer premises itself gives you a glimpse of the exhibits inside it. The band on the terrace welcomes you with its colourful musical charm, without creating the slightest noise. The owner seems to be quite eco-friendly as the visitors are asked to throw their plastic bottles and wastes separately which is then reused in the garden in the form of soil block.
Here are the few compelling reasons for a visit to this amazing place.
Forgotten Portuguese and Goan Culture
The museum showcases the lost Goan culture, the times when Goa was a fishermen’s land and the people were so much close to nature that the girls never left the house without beautifying the hair with colourful flowers. The moment you think of Goa, the images of blue shirts with images of yellow and white flowers and loose colourful shorts flashes before your mind. Don’t they? But the museum shows you something beyond blue shirts. It showcases the traditional bright coloured ghaghras worn by flower girls with flowery blouse. It also shows you the bright coloured Nauari Saaries worn by housewives with checked blouse. And the traditional attire of the famous fishermen of Goa.
It also introduces the traditional means of earning in Goa, viz. cobblers, sweet sellers, bangle sellers, animal rearing, coconut plantation and fenni making.
Goa – a Fishermen’s land
The main occupation in Goa, even till the date, is fishing. The museum has beautifully showcased the boats, nets and other equipment used by ancient fishermen. And their joyful time spent at home enjoying Goan music and Hookah.
Goa – The land of Cows
The name Goa is derived from a Sanskrit work ‘Gow’ which means cow. The cows were highly venerated in this land of cows and many of them practised cow rearing. The rare and unique tools used by Goans during farming has also been showcased.
The Gow Kund
In ancient Goa all artificial and natural water source had Cow’s head around it, which made it look as if the cow’s mouth is the source of water. A beautiful artificial lake at the museum shows how mothers carried water in pots while the kids enjoyed diving in the ponds. This part is most beautifully depicted of all.
The Land of happy, dance lovers
The Goan music and dance has its special place in its culture. Portraits of traditional dances with colourful attires and mind blowing stunts would surely leave you awestruck. These pictures will tell u more than my words.
The biggest rock monolith of Saint Meerabai at land level
The back side of the museum has a carved rock monolith of saint Meera playing the famous musical instrument ‘Tanpura’. Meerabai is famous in North India for her love and devotion for Lord Krishna. Finding such carving in Goa is a little surprise.
The Big Barefoot
Throughout our journey in the museum I wondered why it might be named as Bigfoot!! The story behind the name is linked to a wealthy and generous man of the region. The person donated whatever he could to the people who came asking for it. In the end came a time when he did not have any money to survive or any place to live. His wife also left him in such circumstance. At this time he prayed God to provide him a place to pray. The God, with the intention of testing his devotion, showed him a lava rock and declared the rock to be his place. But the devotee was not disappointed at all. He stood on the rock on his one feet and prayed for days. In the end pleased with his devotion, he was granted place in the heavenly abode. It is said that when his body flew up to the heaven, the mark of his foot left on the rock. As per the legend, whosoever asks for anything with his whole heart is still granted his wish.
The Souvenir Shop
The shop with cute Goan lamps and dolls at the exit will surely tempt you to buy at least something. The frames, tiles or mugs with Mario Mirands’ painting are worth purchasing. But, do consider the price factor, as you might get the same souvenirs at cheaper rates somewhere else.
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