Development scholars seem to have now accepted that cultural attributes and values actually matter in development, but there is still much debate over actually ‘how’ they matter and play a role in development processes. This book argues that the development industry needs to carefully reconsider cultural assets and incorporate them into its work at both conceptual and programmatic levels. By viewing cultural traditions as complex practices and meanings which are embedded in people’s lives, this analysis demonstrates the significance of culture and its positive and negative roles in development processes. ‘Cultural Capital’ is recognized here as a crucial concept for incorporating culture into livelihood analysis and rural development planning and implementation. This study is based on field-based research by the author in Sri Lanka, but its findings have much wider relevance for international development efforts. The study identifies and celebrates those who are inspired by their ancestors, their traditions, knowledge and value systems, and who believe that their cultural values are the back-bone of who they are and how they live’.