Development of an inventory of intangible heritage of Malawi
Benefitting country(ies): Malawi
Eight communities in the Northern Region of Malawi participated in the inventorying of their intangible cultural heritage with a view to safeguarding. After having received training on documentation and inventory making, twelve young members from the Bandya, Lambya, Mambwe, Namwanga, Ndali, Nyakyusa, Nyiha and Sulwa/Chewa communities conducted fieldwork to identify and collect information on 26 living practices and expressions that they considered characteristic for their communities.
The State Party reduced the number of trainees but increased the number of training days to ensure in-depth understanding of methodologies involved, aiming to enhance the capacity of community members to carry out similar activities in the future. The mountainous terrain of the project area posed a particular challenge for the logistical organization of the fieldwork.
The results of the fieldwork were compiled in the second volume of the national inventory of Malawi’s intangible cultural heritage. It contains information on such varied elements as Namayoka herbal medicine, the Among’oma dance, the preparation of Ichipipi maize cake, as well as the making of Umomo fish traps.
The project was implemented according to schedule, under the responsibility of the Malawi National Commission for UNESCO and the Ministry of Tourism and Culture of Malawi, and closed in May 2013.
News and activities:
02-2011/04-2013 – Strengthening national capacities for effective safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage in Botswana, Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe09-2009/03-2013 – Safeguarding traditional foodways of two communities in Kenya