Culture Frontier

Introduction | Our Team | Resources

Our project aims to research and record tangible and intangible heritage for some of Cambodia’s Kuy communities. Twenty years of rapid economic development have placed Cambodia’s Kuy communities into economic and cultural transition. Documenting Kuy intangible heritage is an important part of this change. So is recording the sites of tangible heritage across Kuy territories, from archaeological sites to rock formations. Participatory research with Kuy communities will preserve traditional knowledge and provide new scientific. Our project will:

  • gather oral histories, songs, and epic tales from Kuy elders
  • document traditional Kuy practices like swidden, hunting, and fishing
  • record traditional Kuy crafts and cooking practices
  • preserve Kuy music, ritual practices and stories
  • record tangible heritage sites and traditional cultural properties in the region

Project Rationale: Knowledge of both tangible and intangible heritage is disappearing as Kuy communities transition from traditional agrarian lifestyles. At the same time, Cambodia’s Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts has accelerated it efforts to recognize tangible and intangible heritage on the world’s stage. Engaged research is a powerful tool for researchers and local communities to co-produce knowledge in ways that are relevant for both collectives.

  • Hunting and fishing skills and an intimate knowledge of native plants and animals are increasingly recognized as vital elements of a modern future.
  • Highlighting the knowledge and technologies of indigenous minority people as integral to modern transformations adds value to Cambodia’s heritage industry.
  • Strengthening anthropological and archeological scholarship in Cambodia
    • develops interest about the heritage industry in rural students
    • while producing knowledge about ancient and modern social transitions.

Research Site: The project will co-produce knowledge with members of the Kuy community in Preah Vihear, Steung Treng, Kampong Thom, and Kratie provinces.

Project Outcomes:

  • ArcGIS StoryMaps from at least four locations documenting locally relevant intangible Kuy heritage and associated curriculum development to incorporate story map data into local schools
  • Capacity and skills for collaborative documentation of intangible heritage
  • Develop strategic plan for collaborative tangible heritage documentation in the next five years in collaboration with Cambodia’s Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts