Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Don Bosco Museum to document all N-E tribes


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Our Spl Correspondent

 Shillong: The Don Bosco Centre for Indigenous Cultures (DBCIC), popularly called the Don Bosco Museum (DBM) at Mawlai, Shillong which provides a historical treasure to the North East, will soon embark on setting up an exhaustive gallery showcasing all the tribes and sub tribes of the region.

This will be a first of its kind initiative by any institution of education and learning. “Museums should be centres for learning and we wish to make this Centre as interactive and accessible as possible,” Fr Joseph Puthenpurakal, Director of DBCIC, said.

The DBM, located in Shillong’s hillock of Mawlai took almost ten years to see the light of day, from planning to exhibition, and was formally inaugurated by UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi last year. It showcases the eight states of the North East, in various exhibition rooms and it also works as a centre for study, research and publications. The museum is an institution unique by itself, in the country.

“We wish to make this into a much enhanced knowledge sharing centre with the help of multimedia,” Fr Joseph said.

His next task is to utilize the DBM network to publicize the various works and activities of the Centre to attract tourists.

More than 30,000 tourists from India and abroad visit the DBM annually, which is also an attraction for students of North East as it provides an exquisite centre for learning and information. Spread over seven floors in the DBCIC premises, the technology supported museum has an added attraction for tourists, a skywalk on the terrace, which gives a panoramic view of Shillong city.

We have a vast collection of traditional attire, accoutrements, weapons, ornaments and rare photographs. The seven floors are segregated by a gallery of traditional technology, hunting and gathering pictographs while other sections include land, people and religion.

“We have been featured in international tourist guide books which helps bring in foreign tourists to the DBM”, pointed out Fr Joseph. However, expensive advertising costs prevent them from reaching out to domestic travellers.

“We spoke to travel agents and tour operators to let their clients and guests know about us, but that is a long process,” he said, also adding that their soon to be redesigned website and social media route will help them reach wider audiences.

For now, the DBM remains a regular must-visit spot for people from the north eastern states and Kolkata, locations geographically close to Shillong. But, apart from the sporadic regional visitors, a frequent sight is long queues of school children, trooping in wide eyed, across the seven floors as part of a compulsory educational tour.


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