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Indigenous Conservation Practices:
Living Heritage of India

The cultural heritage of India is multivalent, and this is defined by the diversity of cultures that inhabit this vast sub-continent. The various forms of heritage - tangible, intangible and 'living', hold a wide spectrum of meanings to society. The intangible manifests itself into the tangible through a collective creative process of making or building. These processes are imbibed in traditional or indigenous building knowledge systems, and are ingrained in a historic building fabric.

The design intentions and methods used to make a building would together define the *creative process*, which is embodied in a historic building and its fabric. Like other values associated with historic monuments, the values relating to crafts and skills that produced cultural resources are equally important aspects of heritage.

Indigenous conservation practices and processes are still prevalent, and form the core of the 'living' heritage of India. The seminar establishes the need for recognition, preservation, and advancement of traditional building craft skills and the values associated with them. This special occasion also marks the India launch of SHILPSALA - craft based conservation practice. The initiative was warmly supported by the audiences at a lecture orgnanised by the York Consortium for Conservation and Craftsmanship in York, UK where it was first launched on July 2, 2008.