Local Cultural Crisis: Art and Architectural Forms Reveal an Extinct Culture in History

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This article explores how multiple splendid architectural forms and art treasures no longer exist because great cultures are disappearing from our world. The number of extinct local cultures is increasing worldwide. This research investigates what causes local cultures to undergo crises and become extinct. Using qualitative methods and an ethnographic approach, this research examines how architectural and art styles represent cultural development and analyses how the strength and weakness of religious leadership can determine a culture’s stability and contribute to its traumatic periods in history. A case study is presented of the now extinct Cham culture. The case study examines how religious sculptures and temple buildings, as cultural symbols and spirits, reveal how the Cham religious political leadership determined their cultural development. Between the second century and the fourteenth century (1306), the Champa Empire developed in quite stable affluence; it was during this period that the Empire was in its own environment. However, after the fourteenth century, the environment changed as a result of the influence of multiculturalism, and the Cham Brahman–Hindu religious political leaders (kings) were not able to support their citizens in the new cultural settings. This article argues that religious leadership roles in the context of religion impact on how a local culture develops, particularly in a multicultural environment. The research question is, “What causes a local cultural crisis, and how do art and architectural forms expose a local cultural extinction?”
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-23
JournalThe International Journal of Social, Political, and Community Agendas in the Arts
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2020


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