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Phase I : Pilot projecect in Luang Prabang

Objectives of the project

Youg novice practicing drawing skills essential to traditional arts and crafts training © UNESCO

The basic aim of the project is to provide training in traditional arts and crafts, especially skills relevant to the repair and decoration of religious properties in Luang Prabang.

The objective of this project is to assure the survival and continued social economic relevance of the traditional system of fine arts and building crafts apprenticeship among the monks and novices of the Laotian Buddhist sangha, thus ensuring that the temples, which form the core of the Luang Prabang World Heritage Site, are authentically conserved and maintain their didactic, social and cultural functions as the centres and anchors of the communities in which they are located.
To achieve this goal, this project provides opportunities for research, documentation, basic education and literacy, and multi-level skills training in traditional arts and building crafts, within the context of re-vitalizing the teaching system inside the sangha, in the spirit of the former arts training centers located at Wat Mai and Wat Siphouthabat, for all novices and young monks and especially those who otherwise would not qualify for formal, institutionalized educational opportunities.

Employing local craftsmen and teachers trained in traditional arts, the course is providing instruction for students drawn from the vat, both initiates and younger monks. The course is intended to last for two years and to train approximately twenty students. The program is run by the Luang Prabang Department of Culture and Information, and is coordinated with the Luang Prabang Buddhist Federation (the Sangha) with cooperation from the Luang Prabang Department of Education. Students will receive official certification at the completion of their studies.