Examining the impact of urban transformations on traditional crafts and skills: Case of Amritsar’s historic core

Niyati, Jigyasu (2018) Examining the impact of urban transformations on traditional crafts and skills: Case of Amritsar’s historic core. In: ICOMOS 19th General Assembly and Scientific Symposium "Heritage and Democracy", 13-14th December 2017, New Delhi, India. [Conference or Workshop Item]

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Abstract (in English)

Investing in the intangible heritage reflected in the oral traditions, social practices, rituals, festivals, and skills to produce traditional crafts contribute towards social and economic wellbeing of the communities and improvement in their overall quality of life. In the context of urbanization that is often uncontrolled, the historic areas undergo transformations that include destruction of built heritage as well as loss of social structure and traditional economic organization. While there is focus on the physical fabric, the present urban conservation processes in India place relatively lesser emphasis on retaining the communities who are the main casualty of these changes and whose sustainability often rests on traditional skill based livelihoods. The historic area of Amritsar is an urban ensemble anchored around Sri Harmandir Sahib; the holiest shrine of Sikhs. The layout of the historic core and its built fabric, social organisation of the neighbourhoods, festivals and rituals, and various traditional crafts such as Phulkari, Jutti, metal work such as Thatera, Sikligar, Judau, Pottery, Terracotta, Durrie, Galeecha, Woolen Handloom and Accessories such as Paranda are rooted in the distinctive culture and milieu of the region. Preliminary studies of the area show neglect of the built heritage, changing socio-cultural dynamics and vanishing traditional crafts and livelihoods. At times, only selective crafts having tourism potential get more prominence unlike those that are more intimately connected to various sections of the community. Though one can see some market demand of Phulkari embroidery owing to its popularity among tourists, lesser known craft traditions like utensil making by Thateras, weaponry by Sikligars, Durrie and Galeecha making, Nada making are declining. The paper critically analyses the impact of the physical, social and economic transformation processes in the historic urban area of Amritsar on the community based crafts that have long contributed to their sustainability. Methodology of study would include analysis of empirical data on communities and their crafts at neighbourhood level, collected through semi structured interviews as well as participatory observations. Based on the research findings, various strategies for sustainable regeneration of historic urban areas will be suggested.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Niyati, Jigyasu
Languages: English
Keywords: Community; sustainability; urban transformation; social structure; traditional economic organisation; destruction; conservation; India
Subjects: D.URBANISM > 02. Urban planning
E.CONSERVATION AND RESTORATION > 09. Social and economic aspects of conservation
I.CULTURAL TOURISM > 04. Sustainable tourism
O.INTANGIBLE HERITAGE > 05. Traditional craftsmanship
National Committee: ICOMOS International
ICOMOS Special Collection: Scientific Symposium (ICOMOS General Assemblies)
ICOMOS Special Collection Volume: 19th General Assembly, New Delhi, 2017
Depositing User: intern icomos
Date Deposited: 03 Dec 2018 15:03
Last Modified: 24 Jan 2019 14:56
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URI: https://openarchive.icomos.org/id/eprint/1970

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