THE National Cultural Commission (NCC) has, for the first time, embarked on a nationwide pilot cultural mapping project.
The project, which will be trialled in Malalaua sub-district, Gulf province, next month, is to document the traditional culture of the indigenous people.
NCC executive director Dr Jacob Simet said yesterday the ultimate objective was to use state-of-the-art audio-visual equipment to preserve, protect, safeguard and promote the traditional knowledge system and cultural expression, cultural infrastructures and the sacred sites of the Mailovera people of Malalaua.
“With the experiences and dates obtained from this pilot project, it would refine the process to carry out a nationwide mapping programme,” Dr Simet said.
He said cultural mapping was an approach used to identify, record and utilise a given community’s cultural resources.
It was also for the benefit of the current and historical community cultural practices and expressions, knowledge, infrastructures; sacred sites that will be mapped and use in the socioeconomic development process.
Dr Simet said that a profound form of cultural development in its own right, cultural mapping “is synthesis of quantitative and qualitative mapping”.
“Quantitative mapping encompasses statistical and cultural infrastructure while qualitative mapping encompasses lifestyle, expressions of culture, traditional knowledge, values, feelings and mindsets.”
Dr Simet said the primary goal of mapping was to capture the identity of a community in all manifestations which encouraged the appreciation of culture as holistic.
“It’s also probably the best means of maximising the creative and commercial potential of a community by developing lateral thinking and knowledge fusions between the different aspects of culture,” he said.
Some of the subjects of promotion include genealogical information, immigration information for tribes and clans, totems, heritage sites, chieftaincy systems, traditional beliefs ceremonies, languages and dialects and medicines.
The project will be officially launched on Friday at Malalaua.