Don Bosco Centre for Indigenous Cultures Shillong
Don Bosco Center for Indigenous Cultures or DBCIC is a unique mission by the Silesians of Don Bosco, set up in North East India for the conservation and preservation of a number of small, local cultures of the area. It covers the lifestyles of not only North East India but also neighboring countries like Bangladesh, Mynamar and Bhutan. The center has specific, distinct areas of operation that includes exhibitions, research, publications related to culture and other activities. The main purpose of Don Bosco is to provide a platform for a healthy concord of different cultures and to develop a spirit of peace, harmony and mutual development. This ideal, in essence, is achieved through research, museum tours, animation programs so that it acts as a powerful catalyst for strengthening the bonds among the people. The architecture and structure of the building with seven floors is unique and is in the shape of a honeycomb, which allows ample fresh air and light to pass through. The museum has a number for facilities to assist the guests and learn about the cultural heritage of the region. These include elevators for the elderly and sick people, an interactive computer area, media and conference hall, touch screen computers, mini museum for kids, sensor lighting system, wi-fi connection, etc. The centre has numerous galleries arranged thematically from floor to floor and forms the most conspicuous element of DBCIC. These different galleries depict various dimensions of the culture and life of the North East. These galleries are Agricultural Gallery, Alcoves Gallery, Art Gallery, Basketry Gallery, Costumes and Ornaments Gallery, Fishing, Hunting and Gathering Gallery, Food Gallery, Housing Pattern Gallery, Introductory and Pre-History Gallery, Lands and Peoples Gallery, Language Gallery, Mission and Cultures Gallery, Musical Instruments Gallery, Our Neighbor’s Gallery, Photo Gallery, Religions and Cultures Gallery, Skywalk, Traditional Technology Gallery and Weapons Gallery. Besides galleries, the center also carries out research, issues publications and hosts a well-stocked library for the benefit of visitors, students and scholars, interested to gather information on the life of North East and their history. The research center, known as the North Eastern Institute for Research in Anthropology (NEIRA) is a hub to study different themes relating to diverse facets of India’s North Eastern region. The library, the central axis of NEIRA currently contains about 110,473 volumes dealing with the cultural aspects of North East India.