The Telegraph
Friday , February 28 , 2014
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Indigenous museum to showcase diversity

- Tribal festival from March 14-16
One of the huts at the Northeast Tribal Museum and Cultural Centre at Nazirakhat in Kamrup (metro)

Guwahati, Feb. 27: Assam today opened the door to the Northeast’s treasure trove of indigenous communities at a museum-cum-cultural complex, set up 25km from here.

The Northeast Tribal Museum and Cultural Centre, which was inaugurated by chief minister Tarun Gogoi at Nazirakhat in Sonapur in Kamrup (metro) district, showcases the rich cultural diversity of the eight states of the region.

The Rs 50-crore project has been set up on a 227-bigha plot atop a hill in a serene place, 2km from National Highway 37.

Till now, the first phase of the project has been finished at a cost of Rs 9.61 crore. Under this phase, 12 huts of Sonowal, Tiwa, Rabha, Karbi, Riyang, Mizo, Bodo, Mising, Deori, Adi, Galong and Dimasa communities have been set up along with eight food huts, an administrative building, a multiple activity centre and a 120-seat open-air theatre.

In the second phase, a museum, an auditorium, pavilions of different states, guest houses, landscaping and campus design and traditional bridges will be constructed at a cost of Rs 40 crore.

Chief minister Tarun Gogoi inside a hut at the centre which he inaugurated on Thursday. Picture by UB Photos

The project, being executed by the state public works department, had begun in February 24, 2011.

It will be maintained under the public-private-partnership mode.

Gogoi hoped the project would help tourists of the country and abroad know more about the indigenous communities of the region.

“Even many people in Assam do not know about the indigenous communities of their own state. The project gives the opportunity to know the rich culture and lifestyle of the Northeast at one place. I am delighted to dedicate the project to the people,” he said.

State cultural affairs minister Pranati Phukan said the state government would organise Tribal Mega Festival from March 14 to 16 at the centre with the aim of popularising it and to promote the life and culture of the indigenous communities of the region.

Phukan said the cultural centre had been set up in Kamrup as Guwahati was the gateway to the Northeast. “All tourists visit Guwahati. That is why we decided to set up the Centre near the city so that tourists can easily visit it,” she said.

Social welfare minister and local legislator Akon Bora appealed to residents to be hospitable to guests, as it would enhance the good image of the country to foreign tourists.

Though in Assam, the project is ready to be showcased at a time when the need is felt to sensitise people to the Northeast.