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27-31 August 2019
Poznań, Poland
Europe/Warsaw timezone
programme last update: 23 August 2019
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Contribution Paper

Poznań, Poland - Morasko Kampus, room: 3.130

Cultural Spectacles, Festivals and Cultural Heritage: Problems and Prospects of Museumisation, Standardization and Preservation


  • Dr. Prafulla NATH

Primary authors


This paper looks into various aspects of cultural spectacles and festivals to understand various nuances. Cultural spectacles are generally cultural performances celebrated by a community where material and non-material cultural objects are presented for the outside world. It can be best defined as where a group represent themselves for its own members and to the non-members. Such spectacles give the scope of preservation and promotion of various cultural artifacts especially intangible cultures of a community. However, performing of the intangible cultural heritage out of the context and growing up of an ethnic market in such cultural spectacles does not only solidify the identity of the group rather it is also a process of museumisation of the cultural artifacts. It further serves various functions. This paper is the outcome of the ethnography of the Karbi Youth Festival – a cultural spectacle celebrated by the Karbis, an ethnic community of the state of Assam, India. The paper investigates how the community is itself engaged in preservation and promotion of their cultural heritages. The paper also delves into the aspects of museumisation, various functions of the spectacle and how it has helped in forming of politicized ethnicity.