Regional Museum of Pokhara
Modernity has posed a serious threat to many traditional and cultural practices. Slowly but surely many old items, used by many communities, are now on the brink of extinction and are being replaced by modern equipment and gadgets.
By LB THAPA FOR ONTOTHEROAD.COM
Nepal has a very rich cultural heritage. The religions, tribes, languages, cultures and traditions give Nepal a distinct identity in the larger world community. Nepal is divided into five development regions; among these the western region is rich in flora and fauna, mountains and lakes. In addition this region is well-known for its various ethnic and tribal groups which are well preserved in the Regional Museum located at Nayabazar, Pokahra.
The museum was established with the aim of preserving and exhibiting the waning cultural and ethnic identities of those groups which have significant place in the country. The museum was inaugurated by the late King Birendra on 5th February 1985.
Soon after entering into the museum, one can see a large map of Nepal hung on the wall. Also there is a trekking map of Annapurna and large photos of some historical and religious places such as Gorkha Palace, Lumbini, Kapilvastu, Manalapan, and Muktinath. The museum has exhibited a large collection of ethnic costumes, ornaments, musical instruments, agricultural equipment, utensils, manuscripts, coins, hunting weapons etc.
A model of a traditional Gurung house draws everyone’s attention. He is the head of the family, who is seen smoking a pipe, while his wife cooks food for the family. A large display of various items for domestic use is on view, some are wooden, and there are also metal utensils like gagri, kasundi, madani, chakra, belna etc. These items reflect the social and cultural lifestyle of the people in this region.
The different tribes of Nepal are identified by their unique costumes. These traditional clothes of different tribes and different castes are displayed in a separate room. A life-sized model of a Thakali woman preparing Bhote tea is eye-catching. Alongside the Thakali woman there are other dummies wearing the different dresses of other ethnic groups.
Since Nepal is an agrarian country most of the people rely on farming. There is also a large collection of traditionally used agricultural tools such as halo, janto, nanglo, kuto, kodalo, ansi, khurpa, namlo, doko, etc. Also it has some bravery medals won by Gurkha soldiers during the World War Ist and IInd, displaying the pride taken in the reputation of the brave Gurkhas. Joining the army was another occupation apart from farming, and this tradition is still continued.
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