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ARPO helps to save 1000 vanishing folklore in a year

31 Dec 2023

ARPO's LoreKeepers Project has archived 1000 pieces of Kerala's folklore in 2023. Focused on marginalized communities, the project ensures these vanishing traditions are preserved for future generations. This free, digital archive is accessible to all and empowers communities to share their stories and songs to be preserved for ever.

The LoreKeepers Project of ARPO, supported by the Faizal and Shabana Foundation has achieved a remarkable milestone, collecting and archiving over 1,000 pieces of Kerala's vanishing folklore in 2023. These songs, stories, and traditions, passed down through generations, are now safeguarded in a free, publicly accessible digital archive licensed under Creative Commons Attribution.

"We're thrilled to reach this landmark," said Sidharth A, Project Manager for LoreKeepers. "This wouldn't have been possible without the dedication of our ARPO staff, the students and teachers we trained, and of course, the invaluable contributions from the general public."

Empowering Marginalized Communities

The project stands out for its focus on marginalized communities. The majority of collected lore comes from Dalit and tribal communities across 11 districts in Kerala.  Sruthin Lal, ARPO's Executive Director, highlighted the significance, stating, "LoreKeepers might be the first community-led effort to leverage technology for the conservation of oral traditions. It's a beautiful bridge between the young and the old, ensuring these stories are not lost."

The archived lore encompasses a rich tapestry of Kerala's cultural heritage. From playful songs and riddles to cautionary tales and whispered mysteries, these traditions come in various forms – songs, tales, riddles, even hearsay.  "Our oral traditions are vibrant and ever-evolving," explained Majeesh Karayad, the project Coordinator. "They hold immense cultural value, offering a glimpse into a way of life that transcends the written word."

Accessible to All

The LoreKeepers archive is a treasure trove accessible to anyone, anywhere in the world. This initiative is a shining example of collaboration, made possible by ARPO and the Faizal and Shabana Foundation. Looking ahead, the project seeks to expand its reach, aiming to document the folklore of even more communities across Kerala in the coming year.

To commemorate the achievement, ARPO is publishing a book that would feature selected folklore from the project.

Visit LoreKeepers YouTube Archive here.

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