News on Museum-Related Activities at the Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn Anthropology Centre
Inauguration of Wat Lay Hin Luang Folk Museum, Ko Kha District, Lampang
On October 28, 2009, Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn visited Lampang Province to officially preside over the inauguration of a new exhibit hall of the Wat Lay Hin Luang Folk Museum, located in Ko Kha District, Lampang Province. The new exhibit, which was developed in collaboration with SAC staff as part of the Local Museums Research and Development Project, focuses on the three intersecting themes of local livelihood, farming and northern traditions. In the section on livelihoods, the exhibit features a traditional house with a range of household tools and implements, as well as an installation about local markets and foodstuffs typically used for merit-making. The section on farming features tools, implements and irrigation techniques used throughout the rice production cycle, as well as information about the rice strains that were once planted in this region. In the third section on local traditions, the installation replicates the annual “Ton Salak” ritual of merit-making for the ancestors, which is held during the 12th month of the lunar calendar each year. The exhibit represents the culmination of three years of collaborative research and museum development undertaken with the technical support and guidance of SAC.
Local Museum Capacity Building—Regional Workshops and Forums
Thailand is home to more than 1,000 local museums established and managed by local communities, monasteries and/or private individuals. As part of the Centre’s ongoing commitment to strengthening the capacity of Thailand’s local and community-based museums, during 2009, SAC organized a range of forums and workshops for local museums and community stakeholders:
Seminar for Northern Museum Network Development
14-15 July 2009 Lamphun Province
28-29 July 2009 Nan Province
24-25 September Lampang Province
This two-day seminar was aimed at strengthening the northern local museum network, covering the provinces of Lamphun, Lampang, Phrae, Nan and Tak. The seminar gave museum keepers in the region the opportunity to share knowledge and experiences, as well as to identify capacity-building needs and challenges faced in day-to-day museum management. Please see further information in Thai on the Northern museums network at www.museumlanna.com
Developing Local Museums: Values, Local Identity, and the Role of Local Government.
21 August 2009 Nakhon Pathom Province
This ½ day roundtable, organized in cooperation with the King Prajadipok Institute, brought together local government representatives from 19 provinces in Thailand to learn about the situation of local museums in Thailand. Showcasing the Tha Phud Monastery Museum, sessions highlighted the important role of local government in supporting museum activities.
Local Museum Workshop
14-17 December 2009 Lamphun Province
Developed on the basis of an inputs from local museum keepers who participated in the network development seminars in July, this regional local museum workshop focused on practical tools and “appropriate” techniques for conserving and displaying artifacts, as well as research and documentation of local culture and history using community mapping methods.
Youth Documentary Filmmaking Workshop, Lamphun Province
On February 12, 2010, SAC will be holding a one-day workshop in documentary film-making techniques for the Urban Lamphun Community Museum youth volunteer network. Facilitated by two documentary film experts, Soraya Naakhasuwan and Chookiat Sakwirakul, the workshop aims to offer perspectives and approaches to documentary film-making for the purposes of researching and documenting Lamphun’s local history and culture. The Urban Lamphun Community Museum youth network aim to make these video materials available through an online archive (www.museumlanna.com).
News from Field School Resource Persons
Dr. Christina Kreps (Denver University, Field School Resource Person 2009)
Since the 2009 Lamphun Field School, Christina has had the opportunity to integrate her experiences as a Resource Person into her own teaching and lectures back at Denver University. She has given a presentation on the subject of intangible heritage and museums in her class, ‘Working in Museums,’ for which she drew on her Field School experiences working with state and community museums in Lamphun. She is also scheduled to give a talk to the Asian Association of Art of the Denver Art Museum on monastery museums and community museums in Thailand. In addition, Dr. Kreps has encouraged two Field School alumni–Mr. Visoth Chhay (National Museum of Cambodia) and Mr. Kriengkrai Watanasawad (College of Innovation, Thammasat University, Thailand)—to apply for fellowships to study in the Museum Anthropology program at DU. Good luck to you both!
Professor Peter Davis (University of Newcastle, Field School Resource Person 2009)
Together with University of Newcastle colleagues Gerard Corsane and Michelle Stefano, Professor Davis is currently serving as co-editor for a forthcoming volume provisionally entitled ‘Touching the Intangible.’ The edited volume, which will be published as part of the Heritage Matters series through Boydell & Brewer Ltd, will center on discussions and case studies from throughout the world, as well as provide a thorough overview of the current state of safeguarding theories and practices. Attention will be paid to both local efforts as well as providing an outlet for emerging voices within the heritage field, including practitioners of certain intangible cultural expressions. Contributors to the volume include several Field School Resource Persons.
Dr. Marilena Alivizatou (University College London, Field School Resource Person 2009)
Following the completion of her Ph.D. (Museum Studies, UCL), Dr. Alivizatou took up a Teaching Fellowship at the UCL Institute of Archaeology, where she is currently teaching several courses in the field of cultural heritage studies. She will also be contributing a chapter to the forthcoming volume, ‘Touching the Intangible.’