Degrees of Endangerment: Presenting a system for grading the viability of traditional crafts

Advocacy, Cultural, Creative Industry, Safeguarding, Endangered, Section II

Degrees of Endangerment: Presenting a system for grading the viability of traditional crafts

Sethi, Ritu

Issue #008, 2021                                                                              ISSN: 2581- 9410 There is no need to underline what a central part traditional craft knowledge, skills and practices play in the cultural fabric of a country that is as rich and diverse as India. Yet, given that crafts are living traditions that are recreated with each generation a central concern is that they continue to be lived, that the practice and its meaning continue to be passed down from guru to shishya, master to student and that in this intergenerational handing down the crafts continue to evolve   and be interpreted for each new age and thereby remain viable and vibrant. For in the very vibrancy and immediacy of these living traditions lies its ephemerality and we are all aware that there are a host of reasons for a craft to slip into endangerment and if not urgently safeguarded to eventually die out and become extinct. And when a craft dies, it is not only the craftsperson who is affected - for with the craft also dies its history, its cross-cultural linkages and the legacy it holds for the generations to come. In the interest of drawing attention to those crafts that are in need for safeguarding the defining of the term endangered can be regarded as the first step as this will provide guidelines in mapping and listing crafts to which the appellation of endangered and threatened can be applied. Once so recognized it would provide a baseline for devising safeguarding practices for revitalization.  Th...
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