Folk Museum of Indian Immigration
Championing the cause of Indian Immigrants
The Folk Museum of Indian Immigration has set up a permanent exhibition on those championing the cause of Indian Immigrants namely Adolphe de Plevitz, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi and Manilal Doctor. The Museum is really honoured and priviledged to have under its custody some of the personal belongings of Manilal Doctor which have been handed over by Ms Mona Doctor, grand-daughter of Manilal Doctor, following a Memorandum of Understanding between the Doctor family and MGI, signed on 28th July 2017, to mark the 110th anniversary of his arrival in Mauritius. The Museum wishes to thank the Doctor family , especially Mrs Mona Doctor for handing over part of the heritage of Manilal Doctor, the well-wisher of Mauritius.
The newly set up corner was inaugurated by the Hon Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, Prime Minister of Mauritius, on 28th September 2017.
Guirni Necklace: A Shining Heritage of Mauritius
The Guirni Necklace is a traditional jewellery associated with Indian Indentured labourers. The indentured labourers converted their savings into gold sovereigns known as guirnis or silver sovereigns called haïkaals .
Today, many Indo- Mauritians still cherish this inherited traditional culture of wearing guirnis. The Guirnis are also still used for different rituals related to birth, marriage and funeral ceremonies.
In our modern society, guirnis represent one of the most valuable tangible heritage of Mauritius. In the context of the International Museum Day (2017), the MGI Folk Museum of Indian Immigration, has felt it pertinent to come forward with a multimedia application, to disseminate the history and role of this traditional Indian Necklace, in our cultural landscape.
Guirni Multimedia Application
The multimedia application gives an overview of the History of coins and coin jewellery in India and the different currencies that were used in Mauritius during the Dutch, French and British periods. Through this interactive exhibition one will understand the functions of sovereigns in the British Empire, their significance among the Indian immigrants and their descendants and the folk beliefs associated with guirnis. Finally, the heritage value of the guirni necklace and its place in Mauritian culture is also highlighted.
A typical Guirni necklace
Courtesy: Mr Suresh & Nutan Chunnoo