http://www.unesco.org/culture/ich/en/project/00014

Action Plan for the Safeguarding and Revitalization of the Oral Tradition of the Aka Pygmies of the Central African Republic

  • Budget (US$): 200,348
  • Source: Japan
  • Dates: 12-2004/07-2008

Benefitting country(ies): Central African Republic, Congo

Overview:

The polyphonic songs of the Aka Pygmies are an integral part of their hunting and life-cycle rituals, a tool of communication and reaffirmation of community values. With socio-economic changes, deforestation and rural exodus, the Aka traditions are inclined to gradually disappear.

The project began with field research focused on documentation and anthropological data collection in the Central African Republic and the Republic of Congo. A database on the oral tradition of the Aka Pygmies was then created, which will be accessible to national and international researchers as well as the communities concerned. A subregional festival of the Aka Pygmies’ music and dance will be organised, in addition to training seminars and radio and national television programmes.

This project will contribute to sensitizing the populations of both countries and enrich their national identity, enabling them to obtain more knowledge about the intangible heritage of the Aka Pygmies and, ultimately, encouraging cultural dialogue and the cultural integration of the Aka Pygmies in subregional Central Africa.

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