KAL’AS’A DUR Museum and Cultural Centre: The Rebirth of a Dying People and Culture

  •  Shabnam Bahar Malik    


The newly established KAL’AS’A DUR (the House of Kalasha) the Kalasha Museum and Cultural Centre (2002-2004) in Brua Village in Bumburet Valley of District Chitral in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Province (KPK) of Pakistan, is a new tourist attraction that entails a lot of cultural and heritage value. This first and only Kalasha Museum and Cultural Centre has given a new birth to the fast disappearing Kalasha people and their ancient culture. At the same time the Museum is under constant threat from armed conflict and terrorism in the region.
The Kalasha Cultural Centre has six departments but this article will only focus on one department that is Ethnological Museum [or Kalasha Museum] and the heritage collections housed in it. Built by the NGO, Greek Volunteers, the museum houses a great collection of material cultural artifacts of endangered Kalsha Kafirs, an ethnic minority of Pakistan almost at the verge of extinction. Only 3,000 left in three Kalasha Valleys. This article contributes to the Kalasha material culture studies literature by documenting the heritage collections showcased in the Kalasha Museum. Further, it highlights the opportunities of empowerment the museum has provided to the fast declining numbers of Kalasha people and to reviving and preserving their unique cultural heritage. The article also intends to promote the establishment of this first ever Kalasha Museum and the newly opened up opportunities for scholars, researchers, conservation scientists, museums personnel, heritage tourists, and international organizations like ICOM, who can be instrumental in promoting the cause of the endangered Kalasha people and their ancient traditions, through further research and documentation.

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