Theses Master's

Heritage in the Myanmar Frontier: Shan State, Haws, and Conditions for Public Participation

Myat, Zaw Lin

Lack of public participation and engagement in the decision-making process hinders heritage conservation in Myanmar, in particular for the ethnic minorities who have been marginalized in the conservation practice. This thesis builds on the assumption that establishing participatory processes and decision-making mechanisms for heritage conservation in Myanmar can improve heritage representation in Myanmar. It will also serve the preservation of ethnic minority heritage better. As a multiethnic country with various historical narratives and interests, Myanmar faces challenges in representing the diverse heritages it possesses. Concerned with built heritage, this thesis seeks to improve heritage practice in Myanmar to include sites that are oriented towards the diverse history of the Union. It looks forward to broadening the conversation of public participation in Myanmars heritage sector.
This thesis assesses the current conditions for public participation in Myanmar, providing an overview of heritage sites in Shan State and a more in-depth investigation of a case study site in Yawnghwe. In this research, history and identity are explored to understand the historical narrative and heritage of the ethnic minority in relations to the Union. Existing heritage conservation laws are analyzed and critiqued to suggest improvement for the conditions of the heritage sites. The conditions for public participation are examined through the use of the case study and community interviews to inform how heritage sites chosen are understood, and how they are conserved. The case study in Yawnghwe helps to explore policy improvement in heritage conservation, framing the opportunities and challenges that exist in heritage conservation practice in Myanmar.

Geographic Areas


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Historic Preservation
Thesis Advisors
Avrami, Erica C.
M.S., Columbia University
Published Here
June 20, 2016