GUWAHATI, April 23 � A three-day national seminar on �Cultural Heritage of Assam�, organised by the Department of Anthropology, Gauhati University, in collaboration with the Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Manav Sangrahalaya, Bhopal, got under way today.
The seminar was inaugurated in the new hall of the department by litterateur and folklorist Dr Birendranath Datta.
Dr Datta, who was a former head of the Department of Folklore, Gauhati University, while formally inaugurating the seminar, spoke on the close linkage between folklore and anthropology.
Citing an illustration while talking on the theme of the seminar, Dr Datta spoke in detail about the Bihu festival, which has been an integral part of the State�s cultural heritage.
Prof Hari Prasad Sarmah, Rector, GU, was the chief guest of the inaugural session.
Dr AC Bhagabati, noted anthropologist, was felicitated for his contribution to anthropology. Prof Sarit K Choudhuri, director, IGRMS and Prof Mini Bhattacharyya, head of the Department of Anthropology, presided over the inaugural session.
A number of distinguished anthropologists from different parts of the country, teachers, research scholars and students of the Department of Anthropology, GU, were present.
The keynote address of the seminar was delivered by Professor KK Basa, Department of Anthropology of Utkal University.
Prof Basa dwelt on different aspects of the rich heritage of the State, ranging from dance forms to Ahom architecture, satra and the region�s religious diversity. He emphasised that while it was important to undertake an in-depth study of individual aspects and entities of Assamese culture, it was equally important to understand the networks of various cultural aspects extending to mainland South East Asia on one hand and eastern India on the other. Moreover, he added, the Assamese diaspora needs to be studied in more detail, linking it to Assamese culture.
As part of the seminar, three exhibitions are being held. The first exhibition is a photo exhibition on the life and culture of the hill Tiwa tribe of Assam put together by photographer Rituraj Konwar, who was a student of anthropology. The second exhibition is on the rock art heritage of Assam by Dr Dwipen Bezbaruah, assistant professor of the Department of Anthropology. There is also a book exhibition by the Indian Council for Historical Research.