Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Let's preserve artifacts of Kohlasothar

Kohlasothar is a time-honoured place of the Gurung community. This historical place is where their civilization has developed. Their Scriptures talk about this. In this article, I am going to explore why Gurungs need to preserve artifacts of Kohlasothar? Why do we need to know about the past? How the comprehensive picture of Kohlasothar can be executed? How knowledge of cultural change helps to reduce ethnocentrism?

Why research is necessary for Kohlasothar?

To know about kohlasothar can mean many things about Gurungs. They love this place very much and seek understanding. But enough research remains to be done. Before eighteen years or so, with the collaboration of Cambridge university, Tamu Pye Lhu Sangh Nepal, and the archaeology department of the Government of Nepal was once conducted research. Unfortunately, it was during the time of Maoist insurgency, so the comprehensive research could not be done. 
If we want to know about the present society, it is necessary to know about history. Because present society is evolved through the past. Since Kohlasothar is a place where many Gurung civilization were developed, it is necessary to investigate Kohlasothar to know about present Gurung society.

Currently, there is no human settlement in Kohlasothar. The question may arise, how it is possible to know about the past of Kohlasothar?

Reconstruction of kohlasothar

The meaning of reconstruction here is reconstruction not in the physical world. It implies reconstruction in the mental world.

It is very significant to present a comprehensive picture of the past of Kohlasothar. To picture the past, it requires to reconstruct its overall configuration. It means the reconstruction of Kohlasothar in the mental world, not in the physical world. What does it reveal when there is a reconstruction of Kohlasothar? 

The answer is probably everything. It can reveal the past lifestyle of Gurungs. It can explore when did Gurungs live in Kohlasothar? Why they lived there? How they lived in Kohlasothar? What they ate; what tools they used; what clothes they wore in kohlasothar?

The comprehensive picture can also reveal the climatic condition of Kohlasothar; how Gurungs arranged their social and political life; how they organized their economy and spiritual life in Kohlasothar. How they communicated with each other; how they grasped their world?

In modern societies, humans have different customs and rituals in daily life. Truly it was also in past societies.  In ancient societies, humans had a different lifestyle. Reconstruction of Kohlasothar also explores daily life, customs, and rituals of Gurungs with a wide spectrum of experience. It can also reveal how Gurungs manipulated the natural environment; what and why they had specific unique behaviour in Kohlasothar?

Archaeological and anthropological research

It holds true, answering the above questions can reconstruct the past of Kohlasothar. Since there is no human settlement in Kohlasothar, there are no key informants to tell about kohlasothar. Even if there, they are not enough since it is of a long history. Until now, it has been conceived to some extent only from oral scriptures. This brings to another important question, how a comprehensive picture of kohlasothar can be executed?

The answer is through conducting archaeological and anthropological research. How does it help to explore all about the past?

This research is conducted by finding out material remains or artifacts. The site is excavated to find different artifacts used in the past. Artifacts are dated and analyzed to reveal different aspects of society. The more there is finding of artifacts, the more there is the exploration of past society. It helps to reconstruct society which reveals a comprehensive picture.

The artifacts of Kohlasothar are ready to reveal all about the history of Gurung community claiming enough research as a requirement. So it is necessary to preserve all the artifacts remained in Kohlasothar. But now some artifacts are missing, this is very disastrous. This should be taken seriously. If artifacts are lost, no research can proceed ahead. Ultimately, it misplaces Gurung's history.

Awareness of cultural change

Archaeological research helps us to know about how culture is originated, developed, and changed. This helps us to know about culture precisely. People may feel odd when they see other cultures. They may sense a violation of norms and values which creates conflict in society. This knowledge of culture change helps to resolve the conflict. If we know how culture is originated and developed, it helps to reduce ethnocentrism.

Ethnocentrism is a way of viewing other culture through values of own culture. Most people view the world through their norms and value of culture. So it can be said, more or less all people are ethnocentric. It claims own culture superior and others' as inferior. It creates unexpected conflicts in society. It may create difficulties and crises. There is also intra-cultural variation in Gurung community. Sometimes it cultivates to create conflict.

Archaeological research of Kohlasothar reveals why Gurungs were in a particular culture in the past and how they came to the present culture. This awareness helps to resolve the conflicts caused by intra-cultural variation.

Why do we need to know the past?

We are living in the present. Some people may think; the past has gone, and it is useless to discuss the past. Sometimes it seems true. But the one thing we should remember here is that the present is the outcome of the past. To know about our present living we should know about the past. How we came to be in the present can only be traced through the past.

We are always planning to make a bright future. We should choose the right alignment for it. How can we choose it? We are able to choose this alignment precisely from the knowledge of the past. The Past gives us direction to move ahead.  The past is both interlinked with the present and future. To make a precise present and fruitful future, we should know about the past.


Kohlasothar can reveal a lot about Gurung's history and civilization. Nowadays, the artifacts are missing from it. It may cause great damage to the history of the Gurung community. The concerned bodies need to pay attention in time. Kohlasothar is awaiting archaeological and anthropological research.


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