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Inauguration of Field Station
IGNCA established a Field Station in the Department of Anthropology
University of Gauhati, on 18 September 2000 at a simple but impressive
function. The Station represents an attempt to enlarge the scope of research
and related activities for promoting research and documentation in the
overall area of cultural heritage of the peoples of North East India.
The north eastern region, covering seven states (Arunachal Pradesh,
Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura), is widely known for
its rich assembly of cultures and forms of social organisation. It was felt
that the research vision of the IGNCA into the cultures and age-old
traditions of the entire region could be more effectively fulfilled by
operating from Guwahati, particularly from the University setting.
Collaboration and involvement of the academic community of the entire region
could be sought to achieve the objectives of relevant research and
documentation. The Field Station will function as a unit of the Janapada
Sampada programme of the IGNCA. Professor A.C. Bhagabati of the Department
of Anthropology, Gauwati University (formerly Vice-Chancellor of Arunachal
University) has been appointed as the Honorary Co-ordinator.
The function began with Saraswati
Vandana beautifully rendered by the students of the department.
Following felicitation of the distinguished guests. In his presidential
address, the Member-Secretary, IGNCA, Prof. N.R. Shetty, hoped that the
inauguration would pave the way for valuable contribution about the
lifestyles and traditions of the tribal and other communities of the north
eastern region. He expressed his happiness at being able to start this unit
in the University for advancing the cause of research on cultural heritage.
He also hoped that in future, the University would come forward to recognise
research activities of Doctoral scholars of the centre, relating, to the
region, as has recently been done by the University of Delhi.
Prof. B.N. Saraswati, addressed the gathering outlining the structure
of the IGNCA and the aims and objectives for field station at Gauwati. He
emphasized the need for comparative study of values, worldview and cosmology
of different cultural communities of North East India. He suggested that the
new Field Station could induce researchers to take up themes such as
reconstruction of the indigenous worldview influencing people, lifestyle and
cultural heritage. For instance, animal taxonomy, healing plants and
practices, notion of space and time, cosmogenic myths and rituals and art
and architecture could be some of the path-breaking types of research that
the Field Station could initiate.
The Vice-Chancellor of the Gauwati University, Prof. H.L. Duorah,
expressed his happiness and assured support for the functioning of the Field
Station in the future. He Stressed the need for using scientific ideas and
information technology in cultural research. Dr. Amalendu Guha, noted
historian and Dr. Birendranath Datta, an eminent folklorist, complemented
the IGNCA for giving focussed attention to the research and documentation
needs of the cultures of the region, stressing due weightage to the study of
The function was attended by a large number of scholars and
researchers from different faculties of the University as well as from
various research institutes of the city. A warm vote of thanks was moved by
Prof. B. Chaudhary, Head of the Department of Anthropology.
Copyright IGNCAŠ 1999