Cultural landscapes are constituted through the on-going social, cultural religious, economic and material based practices of communities within the landscapes. Practices thus combine skill, tacit knowledge, preferred arrangements that give rise to particular forms in crafts, buildings, relationships and landscapes and intrinsic to heritage and identity. When practices of a community are challenged due to disturbances in the cultural eco-system such as conflicts, large-scale development projects and disasters, they directly threaten the identity and heritage of local communities. One such threatened community is the Kalasha among the indigenous groups, in Northern Pakistan which represent one of the oldest minorities’ cultures. Known as Kafirs or infidels, Kalasha actually represent a unique culture of a very old and primitive society in the world, dating back to at least 3000 years. Some call them descendants of Alexander the great. Once scattered all over Chitral with far more political and social clout, now they are located in three main valleys of Ramboor, Bumburaite and Birir, and have reduced to 3-4000 people in number over the last few decades. Over time, political, socio-religious and economic pressures (such as their rate of conversion to Islam, high infant and maternal mortality rate in Kalasha women, and increasing trend of migration of many Muslim outsiders to Kalasha valleys) their population, influence and clout is increasingly at risk in the area leading to the potential destruction of their cultural heritage and landscapes.

 In this LVS, we explore linkages between practices, identity-making, belonging, skill, material and immaterial landscapes to understand how lives and landscapes are maintained in times of conflict and crisis. Through our workshops we will explore the cultural practices, architectural pattern language, the craft of making and maintaining cultural forms of expression (craft products, buildings, temples, festivities), the material supply chains and natural resource management for craft production. We will identify the challenges to craft practices and its heritage, and together with the communities explore ways of conserving these practices for resilient futures.


  • Design Anthropology; research, methods and practice
  • Architectural Pattern Language and vernacular technologies of building 
  • Cultural practices and folk landscapes
  • Crafting communities; skill, materials and making
  • Material landscapes; supply chains and local resource management