International Bamboo and Rattan Organization

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Effects of globalization on the traditional cane and bamboo household objects: A case study on the Nyishi group of Arunachal Pradesh















Nyishi indigenous groups; traditional household materials; Arunachal Pradesh; India; globalization effects; UNESCO

Globalization poses significant challenges to the survival of the traditional craftsmanship, a domain of intangible cultural heritage. The UNESCO has regularly pointed out the challenges created by globalization, including lengthy apprenticeships with low remuneration, mass-production of goods needed for daily life, environmental and climate change pressures, changing social conditions and cultural tastes, etc. The effects of these challenges are most noticeable when it comes to small indigenous groups, for whom they can have an adverse impact. Arunachal Pradesh is a hill state of India inhabited by 31 indigenous groups. This makes Arunachal Pradesh a suitable site for studying the effects of these challenges. Household objects are one of the numerous expressions of traditional craftsmanship, which have been subjected to the changing influences of globalization within a relatively short period of time. The domestic articles of an average ethnic house of Arunachal Pradesh are usually made of cane and bamboo. The primary focus of this article is to evaluate the effects of the challenges posed by globalization, as mentioned by UNESCO, on the household objects of the Nyishi group, one of the 31 indigenous groups of Arunachal Pradesh. They are traditionally expert in making their household objects with cane and bamboo. The case study was conducted at Seijosa, a locality mainly inhabited by the Nyishis of East Kameng district of Arunachal Pradesh. Based on the unstructured and open ended interviews, this case study focused on the traditional craftsmen’s perspective and observations about the changes on traditional cane and bamboo household objects of Nyishi community, as they are regularly involved in making and distributing these products. The findings of the case study indicate that almost all the challenges, mentioned by UNESCO, are noticeable on the traditional craftsmanship of cane and bamboo household materials of Nyishi group.