Established in 2003, this visual anthropology project aims to produce a documented video record of Sikkim’s vanishing indigenous Buddhist cultures. Its primary purpose is to record and preserve the meaning and performance of Sikkim’s domestic and monastic rituals within their social and economic contexts. Considering the interconnection of village life, it was thought important to provide the social and historic contexts within which these rituals are being held so these may be better understood and appreciated. Thus, the social institutions and oral histories of the communities and individuals involved are equally recorded and documented.
The video record is produced with and for the indigenous communities and is preserved, catalogued and documented in its original format at the Institute for future generations and research use. From this archival material, a series of thematic films is being edited for viewing both in Sikkim and at international ethnographic film festivals worldwide.
This project is being carried out by Dr Anna Balikci-Denjongpa, Research Coordinator, NIT, together with cinematographers/Research Assistants Dawa Tshering Lepcha and Phurba Tshering Bhutia