Short Description of Lokayan Museum
Lokayan Livelihood Museum is the grassroots voice initiative on the context of climate change adaptation and peoples centered disaster management. The primary objective of establishing 'Lokayan' is to preserve and restore the traditions, cultures and experience of coping strategies on climate change adaptation and disaster management. Through this initiative employment opportunity has also been created for a good number of poor and marginal people, particularly women and indigenous communities.
Generally, the word 'museum' is used for places where historical artifacts are preserved, which give some idea about the lifestyle of the people of certain time period (maybe of a ruling period of a famous emperor or king) but not a complete idea of the livelihoods of the people (general mass) for that particular period. The northern part of Bangladesh inherits a huge wealth of folk traditions that reflect the lifestyles of people with various professions, ethnic groups, indigenous communities, people with various religious, caste, race, etc. 'Lokayan' has been established by ESDO with the noble intention to go a bit beyond the limitations of the traditional museums. By filling in the gaps of these traditional museums, 'Lokayan' intends to capture a complete picture of the livelihoods of all categories of people living in the northern part of Bangladesh for hundreds of years. Although the initiative started earlier, 'Lokayan' was officially launched in April 2008. 'Lokayan' is a Bengali word created by the innovators of this initiative, with an intention to mean something more than a museum that preserves and restores the folk traditions and cultures of all cross-sections of people of a particular human habitation during a particular period of time, focusing largely the rural setup. It is located within the campus of the eco-farm in the Thakurgaon town. 'Lokayan' has already accumulated a good collection of various folk traditions of the northern Bangladesh.
While the primary objective of establishing 'Lokayan' is to preserve and restore the traditions and cultures of the northern Bangladesh, it is expected that the initiative will create employment opportunity for a good number of poor and marginal people, particularly the women and indigenous communities. As of now a shed for lokayan, two thresh-roof houses, a open platform/stage, a road, a six-corner tin roof house and a house of village leader (Morol) have been constructed and a total of 3000 traditional tool and materials of different types have been collected and preserved. More than a thousand of timber trees, fruit trees, ornamental trees and medicinal plants have been collected and planted in the garden.