Safeguarding Practices

Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) is passed down to generations. With globalization, the cultural diversity and practices of indigenous tribes are at risk because of which the younger generations are not getting the provision to learn about their traditions. Varied initiatives are being undertaken to ensure an eco-system supporting transmission and viability of ICH.

The Museums are a type of ethnographic museum showcasing the different ethnicity and material cultural traits and artifacts of the tribes of Arunachal Pradesh and depicting their vivid but distinctive multicultural heritage under one roof.

Jawaharlal Nehru State Museum

The Museum was established as a central museum in the year 1956 at Shillong- under the supervision of and guidance of Late. (Dr.) Verrie Elwin, the then advisor for Tribal Affairs and the Philosophy of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, the then Prime Minister of India. Further the museum was shifted to Itanagar, re-organised in the new building and renamed it as Jawaharlal Nehru State Museum. The J.N. State Museum is also called the hub of indigenous cultural heritage of the tribes of Arunachal Pradesh in one way and the archaeological heritage of the state of Arunachal Pradesh in another way.

Tai-Khampti Singhpho Museum cum Research Centre

This Museum-cum-research centre is part of Arunachal Pali Vidyapith Society (APVS), a school complex, situated in the Namsai district. Namsai is the home to the Tai-Khamti community, who migrated from Burma during the 18th century. According to them, the youth of the communities take pride in their culture, traditions and dialects; while the elders pass on their prized legacy to help in its preservation, promotion and propagation. So the aim of this museum is to empower the youth, by providing them education, skills and motivation. Through this, the museum tries to imbibe within the youth the social concept of responsibilities towards the society. It has currently become an ideal tourist destination for the travellers who wish to know more about the Singpho & Tai-Khamti communities, their traditions and cultures.

The integration of educational based learning about the traditions is one of the ways of developing and continuing sustainable societies by consciously taking forward the community's traditional culture and way of life. Adding to this opportunity is the already emerging interest and contribution of local youth towards responsible cultural tourism that further opens up these positive conservation. The transmission of indigenous knowledge, to the following generations, through village school programmes is an effective way to conserve and promote the intrinsic value of the traditional lifestyles and knowledge of people of Arunachal.

Nyibu Nyibam Yirko School

In the gurukul school, Nyibu Nyibam Yirko School, headed by Pai Gungchi Dodum, the children are taught about the Nyishi culture alongside the standards of the education system of India. The gurukul was formed to teach the youth about their own culture, through festivals like Nyokum Festival, the children get an overview of their rituals and get to practise their language as well.

Majority of the communities have their own distinctive languages. Some of them are on the verge of extinction and are registered under UNESCO’s tentative list of the least spoken languages in the world. The community members are on the quest to safeguard their tradition and native languages for which they have established various schools in order to ensure that their traditional knowledge gets passed on to the forthcoming generations.

Endangered Languages

UNESCO registers Idu Mishmi language as one of the least spoken languages in the world. Idus have distinctive attire and hairstyle.

The tai Khamptis speak a simple Tai language and have their own script known as “Lik Tai”. The script was traditionally taught in monasteries in subjects like “Tipi-taka”, Jataka tales, code of conduct, Doctrines and philosophy, History, lawcodes, astrology and palmistry. However the script is not used by the younger generation anymore, and is now a dying tradition.

The mijis have a folklore on orchids which is the story of the sisters who had become orchid flowers. Much like the endangered Orchid species, the Miji dialect is on the verge of extinction and has been enlisted by UNESCO as one of the most critically endangered languages among the ethnic groups of Arunachal Pradesh.

The Bugun language is known as Khoa which is on the verge of going extinct. The Bugun language is listed as an endangered language of India.