Safeguarding of the ICH of the Batammariba of Koutammarkou
Benefitting country(ies): Togo
Koutammarkou, a site in the North-East of Togo inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2004, shelters the Batammariba (“those who work the earth”) whose houses with turrets made of earth, the takyientas (“those who guard”), have become the symbol of Togo. This project aims at ensuring the safeguarding of the rich intangible cultural heritage of the Batammariba. That heritage, as well as the Litammari language is threatened by a number of factors. The project is a pilot for the integrated safeguarding of the intangible cultural heritage of a community living in a World Heritage site.
The project aims at
- ensuring the transmission of skills and knowledge linked to different aspects of the intangible cultural heritage of the Batammariba,
- reinforcing the language,
- promoting respectful tourism,
- facilitating access to information concerning the culture of the Batammariba and
- sensitizing the population at large to the importance of the living culture of the Batammariba.
Training on how to enact various practices and experiences will be organized through master-apprenticeship transmission. Manuals will be developed and materials for teaching the language of the Batammariba in primary schools will be produced. Local guides will be trained and a code of conduct and a map of sacred areas will be elaborated. Traditions and practices will be inventoried. An archive and a cultural centre will be created. Cultural weeks will be organized. At the end of the project, new methods of transmission will have been set up; teaching material on the Batammariba culture and the Litammari language will have been developed and will be used in primary schools; respectful tourism will have been encouraged; the cultural and linguistic diversity of Togo will have been reinforced. The integrated approach for protecting the tangible and safeguarding the intangible cultural heritage of one and the same community will have been tested.