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Phase II: Regional expansion

Planned project outputs

Practicing the preparation of sand mandalas - Sikkim, India © UNESCO

1. Revival and institutionalization of training structures within the Buddhist sangha for learning traditional skills in building crafts and decorative arts

The primary output of the project will be the institutionalization of structures for training in reviving knowledge and practice of traditional decorative arts and building crafts, and basic preventative conservation, within the Buddhist sangha and associated communities. This will be accomplished by reviving traditional systems of transferring skills from masters to apprentices within the Buddhist monasteries and/or craft communities associated with Buddhist sites.  The specific decorative arts and building crafts, but not necessarily limited to, will include painting, drawing, lacquer, stucco, casting, stenciling, glass mosaic and carving, as well as architectural construction.

2. Transfer of preventive conservation skills to traditional custodians of Buddhist heritage

The training in preventative conservation will be introduced via existing channels for training monks and lay people who are involved in managing temples.

3. Provision of opportunities for employment and economic gain utilizing traditional skills in the building crafts and decorative arts

In order to ensure that trainees have the opportunity to utilize their new skills to obtain employment,  to generate supplementary income or other forms of economic gain, if so desired,  training in traditional decorative arts and building crafts will also be incorporated into other local community training platforms, such as vocational training institutes and community learning centres.

4. Documentation of processes and techniques in the traditional building and decorative arts associated with Buddhism, and the production of curricula and training materials for the continued transmission of these skills 

In order to support and sustain the revived training in traditional temple arts, site/country-appropriate curricula will be produced.  Training materials to be produced will include a series of illustrated technical manuals, supplemented by videos.  The manuals will cover the skills needed in that country or region, documenting such techniques as methods of carving, traditional drawing and painting, gold stencil design and application, glass mosaic production, traditional mortar manufacture, lacquer appliqué, and mixing of natural colors.  The documentation will incorporate photographic and video records of traditional techniques and methodologies, films documenting the traditional Buddhist arts in each site, and digital media.  These training materials will ensure that skills taught are authentic and this, in turn, will inform authenticity in preservation and conservation work, as well as in building new structures and creating new artifacts in a traditionally authentic way.

Manuals will also be prepared for training in preventative conservation and temple maintenance.

5. Documentation of project methodology, to facilitate replication and mainstreaming within the Buddhist sangha

Given the large interest shown in the project by government, non-governmental organizations, potential funding agencies and the Buddhist sangha, documentation of the project methodology will be undertaken during project implementation.  This will serve to enable other agencies, and in particular the Buddhist sangha, to replicate the project’s methodology and success in an unlimited number of locations, and for fund-raising purposes. 

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