Japan Funds-in-Trust for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage
- 2005 brochure on UNESCO/Japan Funds-in-Trust brochure English-Japanese
- © Vanuatu National Cultural Council
In 1993, following an agreement between UNESCO and the Japanese government, a special Funds-in-Trust was created aimed at assisting UNESCO in its actions in favour of intangible cultural heritage. Up to and including 2007, Japan’s total contribution to the Fund has amounted to approximately USD 12 millions. In particular, the Fund played an important role in the preparation of the 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage.
In accordance with the spirit of the Convention, the main focus of the Fund is currently given to activities, especially for developing countries and post-conflict countries, aimed at ensuring the viability of the intangible cultural heritage, including identification (inventories), transmission, particularly through formal and non-formal education, protection, promotion, enhancement, documentation and research. The Fund also contributes to awareness-raising about and capacity-building in ratification and implementation of the Convention, especially in the Pacific region.
The various projects supported by the Fund provide examples and lessons learnt of the development and implementation of safeguarding projects in the field of intangible cultural heritage. The following list presents, by region, the projects and meetings that were possible thanks to contributions of the Japan Funds-in-Trust.
Mongolia: Intangible Cultural Heritage Community-Based Inventorying Workshop
20/28-05-2013, Ulaanbaatar (Mongolia)
Second Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) Community-Based Inventorying Workshop in Timor-Leste16/18-04-2013, Timor-Leste (Timor-Leste)
This Second Community-based Inventorying of Intangible Cultural Heritage Workshop is organized within the framework of the project entitled ‘Strengthening capacity building for the promotion and implementation of intangible cultural heritage in Timor-Leste’. This project is part of the regional capacity building efforts in the Asia-Pacific Region and is funded by the Japan Funds-in-Trust for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage.
The workshop is intended to equip community members and key stakeholders from Timor-Leste with the basic knowledge and skills to design, facilitate and implement a community-based inventorying process tailored to their particular circumstances.
For more info, click here.
Bhutan: Workshop on Community-based Inventorying of Intangible Cultural Heritage 02/09-04-2013, Phuntsholing (Bhutan)
A Workshop on Community-based Inventorying of Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) was held in Phuntsholing, a border town in southern Bhutan, from 2 to 9 April 2013. Funded the Japanese Funds-in-Trust, this Workshop focused on; i) community involvement in inventorying cultural resources, ii) importance of cultural protocol in community-based inventorying, iii) a hands-on experience in preparing field work.
For more information, please click here.
Cambodia reorienting its methods of inventorying living heritage14/21-02-2013, Phnom Penh (Cambodia)
Cambodia is reinforcing a community-based focus in its existing and new efforts to document and inventory living heritage. For this purpose and with generous funding from Japan, over 35 participants came together in Siem Reap from 14 to 21 February this year to build their knowledge and develop this new approach.
UNESCO provided the substantive support through two members of its certified facilitators’ network, Mr Rahul Goswami from India and Ms Suzanne Ogge from Australia. The programme included 8 days of intensive course work and field-based practicum carried out in the rural areas of Siem Reap and the town itself. Fieldwork included a visit to the School of Fine Arts and two local communities, with forms of ICH documented including traditional weaving processes, martial arts skills and techniques, and performing arts. Participants learned, through hands-on training, field-based techniques of interviewing and audio-visual recording. A visit was also conducted to the Eco-Global Museum (supported by UNESCO) located in the Preah Vihear Province, to learn about a concrete inventory project underway which combines audio-visual documentation of living heritage among a local indigenous community with the documentation of associated cultural objects.
So far, Cambodia’s Living Human Treasures programme has included documentation efforts, though its methods have not as yet been extended to community-based approaches recommended by the 2003 Convention. The capacity-building workshop on inventorying with a strong community focus thus provided participants - most of whom are provincial directors – with further skills and knowledge for their field practices. In addition, the training placed much emphasis on developing mutually supportive networks among cultural professionals and communities to support national efforts to document and inventory living heritage.
The participants included those who had attended the first capacity-building workshop on implementation held in 2012 August in Phnom Penh, and new participants. Among them were representatives of civil society organizations. While several mentioned the need for long-term and reliable financial support and stability for safeguarding, all participants confirmed that the training was extremely useful and they would integrate the new approach in their current work and future programmes.
Inventory of the intangible cultural heritage in Nepal19/28-01-2013, Kathmandu (Nepal)
Inventory of intangible cultural heritage in Goroka22/27-10-2012, Goroka (Papua New Guinea)
With a view to build national capacities of Papua New Guinea in implementing the 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH), Noriko Aikawa-Faure, one of UNESCO facilitator, prepared and facilitated a workshop entitled “Community-based inventorying ICH workshop (INV)” from 22 to 27 October 2012 in Goroka, organized in close collaboration with the PNG National Cultural Commission.
Inventory of intangible cultural heritage of Timor-Leste22-10-2012, Dili (Timor-Leste)
A three-day National Workshop on the Community-based Inventory of the UNESCO 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) was held on 23-25 October 2012 in Suai sub-district in Cova Lima, Timor-Leste. The workshop was jointly organized by the State Secretariat of Art and Culture of the Ministry of Tourism and Culture of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste, the Cova Lima District government and UNESCO with support from the Government of Japan through UNESCO Japanese Funds-In-Trust for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage.
This workshop gathered some 50 participants, including national and district culture officials, governmental officials, Suai sub-district community leaders, teachers, young traditional female dancers, local traditional musicians, and other community members of the Suai sub-district. The twelve sessions of the workshop were intended to help equip participants with basic knowledge and skills to design and facilitate a community-based inventorying process tailored to the current circumstances of Timor-Leste.
During the opening ceremony, Maria Isabel de Jesus Ximenes, the State Secretary of Art and Culture of the Ministry of Tourism and Culture of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste, highlighted the importance of joint efforts among governments, civil societies and communities to ensure that Timor-Leste’s precious intangible cultural heritage is safeguarded and passed on to the next generations. She underlined that the safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage should play a key role for ensuring mutual respect, sustainable development and peace promotion in Timor-Leste and beyond.
The opening ceremony was followed by a three-day community-based inventorying workshop. This workshop introduced the participants to the key concepts of the Convention, community-based inventorying methods, free-prior-informed consent in the process of inventorying, creative processes and techniques of generating and systematizing information with the community, a community-driven sample inventorying framework and much more. As part of the workshop, participants also completed a fieldtrip to the village of Lia Na’in in Suai in order to apply theoretical knowledge to actual inventorying work.
Through these training sessions, participants acquired a broad understanding of how the Convention works and recognized diversity within a community regarding their ICH, as well as the importance of the inclusion of youth, elders and women as part of multiple voices on ICH. Participants also had an opportunity to exchange views on the diverse opinions concerning the community-based inventorying and to share their knowledge experiences on the ways to record ICH locally.
Cambodia pursues its march towards safeguarding intangible heritage13/17-08-2012, Phnom Penh (Cambodia)
Many ICH elements in Cambodia are in danger of disappearing, mainly due to the long-lasting conflicts, the declining number of ICH practitioners and lack of interest from the younger generation. Having ratified the 2003 Convention, the Cambodian Government has expressed its commitment to identify ICH elements still being practiced and to safeguard them for future generations. To this end, UNESCO will assist the Cambodian Government in strengthening its institutional and policy frameworks for safeguarding ICH, and on building the national capacity for the effective implementation of the 2003 Convention.
Since January 2012, five meetings were conducted by the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts to prepare and finalize a national work plan for the implementation of the 2003 Convention. Translation of the 2003 Convention and its Operational Directives are currently being undertaken, in preparation for the first capacity building workshop on the implementation of the 2003 Convention at the national level, which will take place from 13-17 August 2012. The initial workshop will be followed by a workshop on community-based inventory (February 2013) and a workshop on the preparation of nomination files in August 2013. Project activities will also include the documentation, inventorying and transmission of Sbek Thom (Shadow Puppet Theatre) traditions from the masters to the younger generation.
Implementation of the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage in Sri Lanka25/29-06-2012, Colombo (Sri Lanka)
Sri Lanka ratified the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2008 and although there are a number of inventories on ICH scattered in various government departments and private institutions, there is still no legislation to safeguard ICH and there is a need to consolidate various efforts at national level. UNESCO has supported the initial stages of developing a web portal on ICH restricted to data gathered by various government bodies and now with the support of UNESCO/Japan Funds-in-Trust, the capacities of concerned stakeholders will be further enhanced in the effective implemention of the 2003 Convention, community-based inventorying, as well as in the preparation of nomination files.
he first capacity building activity, a workshop on the Implementation of the 2003 Convention at the National Level will be organized in partnership with the Ministry of Culture and the Arts from 25-29 June 2012. The workshop will be facilitated by by UNESCO certified trainers, Mr Rahul Goswami and Ms Sajida Vandal. Future capacity building workshops include a Workshop on Community-based Inventory to be held in 2013 and a Workshop on the Preparation of Nomination Files schedueled in 2014.
Need assessment for strenthening national capacities in implementation of the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage in Mongolia26/31-05-2012, Ulaanbaatar (Mongolia)
Even before it ratified the 2003 Convention in 2005, Mongolia has been very active in safeguarding its intangible cultural heritage. It established a National Centre for ICH in 1997 and had two traditions proclaimed as Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.
At the same time, despite various efforts already made in safeguarding its ICH, Mongolia needs to meet the increasing impact of social changes, globalization and rampant urbanization affecting traditional nomadic lifestyle of its people. UNESCO/Japan FIT supports this further endeavour with a series of better tailored capacity building activities starting with a two-day workshop organized from 28-29 May 2012 in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia to consult with primary stakeholders, assess existing government policies relating to ICH, investigate the roles of involved institutions and identify training needs on ICH. UNESCO certified trainer Ms Noriko Aikawa-Faure assisted this process with facilitating the need assessment workshop. Two other capacity building workshops lined up for Mongolia are a Community-Based Inventorying Workshop planned to be organized in October 2012 and a Workshop on the Preparation of Nomination Files in early 2013.
Implementation of the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage in Bhutan14/18-05-2012, Paro (Bhutan)
The first capacity building activity in Bhutan – a training workshop on the implementation of the 2003 Convention at the national level – was organized from 14-18 May 2012 in Paro, Bhutan, in partnership with the National Archive and Library of the Ministry of Home and Cultural Affairs, the government agency responsible for intangible cuiltural heritage. The 28 participants included culture officers from the 12 districts of Bhutan and representatives from the National Library and Archives, the Department of Culture, Folk Heritage Museum, the Institute of language and Cultural Studies and Helvetas, an NGO involved mapping ICH.
After Bhutan ratified the 2003 Convention in 2005, the Dramtse Ngacham (Dance of Drum of Dramtse) was proclaimed as one of UNESCO Masterpieces of Oral and Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2005 and subsequently included in the Representative List of the 2003 Convention. It is currently preparing a preliminary survey and development of an inventory of ICH in partnership with the Intangible Cultural Heritage Centre for Asia and Pacific (ICHCAP), the Category II Centre in Korea.
The implementation workshop, facilitated by UNESCO certified trainers, Ms. Shubha Chaudhuri and Ms. Paritta Chalermpow Koanantakool, will be be followed by a training workshop on the ICH inventoring in 2013.
As one of the eight beneficiary countries under the regional capacity building programme funded under UNESCO-Japan Funds In Trust, UNESCO’s intervention in Bhutan aims to strengthen the capacities of Bhutan to meet its national obligation to safeguard its intangible cultural heritage particularly in inventory-making and to enable Bhutan to have a sustainable framework for safeguarding ICH and in implementing the 2003 Convention.
Implementation of the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage in Papua New Guinea12/19-05-2012, Port Moresby (Papua New Guinea)
A capacity building workshop on the implementation of the 2003 Convention was successfully organized in Port Moresby from 14-18 May 2012 by the UNESCO Apia Office in partnership with the National Cultural Commission of Papua New Guinea. Facilitated by Ms Noriko Aikawa-Faure and Mr Setoki Qalubao the five-day workshop was attended by forty-three representatives from concerned national government agencies, provincial government units, academic institutions and key stakeholders. Honorable Benjamin Philip, the Minister for Culture and Tourism welcomed the participants during the opening ceremony on 15 May 2012.
Papua New Guinea, a State Party to the 2003 Convention, is one of the most culturally diverse countries on Earth, with some 850 indigenous languages spoken by different cultural groups having their own sets of cultural expressions in a country with a population of 6 million. To assist in mitigating the negative impact of globalization and social transformations that endanger its rich intangible cultural heritage, Papua New Guinea was selected as one of the eight beneficiary countries under the regional capacity building programme in safeguarding intangible cultural heritage under the UNESCO-Japanese Funds-In-Trust Cooperation.
The next capacity building workshop on the inventory of ICH elements will be held in October 2012 in Goroka, Papua New Guinea which hosts the famous Sing-Sing Festival, a tribal gathering and cultural event held every two years.
Efforts of safeguarding Nepal’s intangible cultural heritage initiated to with the support of UNESCO/Japan Fund-in-Trust16/20-04-2012, Kathmandu (Nepal)
With the support of the UNESCO/Japan Fund-in-Trust, UNESCO initiates on 16 April 2012 its efforts on the implementation of the 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage in Nepal, who ratified the Convention in 2010. A series of workshops will be organized to strengthen the national capacities in Nepal to implement the Convention more effectively for over the next 18 months. Among them, the first five-day workshop was held on 16-20 April 2012 in the capital city, Kathmandu, mainly focusing on building capacity for Nepal to meet its obligation as a State Party to the Convention.
UNESCO Office in Kathmandu works in close cooperation with the Ministry of Federal Affairs, Constituant Assembly, Parliamentary Affairs and Culture for this first joint initiative, which attracted some 40 participants from government departments, communities and groups that create and transmit the intangible cultural heritages. The other workshops to follow are on Community-based inventorying of intangible cultural heritage and elaborating nominations to the Lists of the Convention. These series of initiatives is implemented within the framework of a global capacity building strategy that UNESCO put in place since 2011.
Capacity-Building on the Implementation of the 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Timor-Leste09/13-04-2012, Dili (Timor-Leste)
This workshop followed a previously organised workshop on the ratification of the 2003 UNESCO Convention, which took place in November 2011 in Timor-Leste. This supplementary workshop gathered some 60 participants, including national and district Culture officials, governmental officials from other relevant ministries, academics, NGO representatives and community members. Facilitated by Rahul Gioswami (a member of the Consultative Body of the 2003 ICH Convention), Masanori Nagaoka (Head of Culture unit of UNESCO Office, Jakarta) and Wieske Sapardan (Programme Assistant of UNESCO Office, Jakarta), the fourteen sessions of this workshop was intended to help participants gain a broad understanding of the possible activities involved in implementing UNESCO’s Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage.
During the opening ceremony, H.E. Mr. Virgilio Simith, the Secretary of State for Culture of the Ministry of Education of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste and H.E. Mr. Yoshitaka Hanada, the Ambassador of Japan to Timor-Leste highlighted the importance of joint efforts among governments, civil societies and communities to ensure that Timor-Leste’s precious intangible cultural heritage is safeguarded and passed on to the next generations. They underlined that the safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage should play a key role for ensuring mutual respect and promoting peace in Timor-Leste and beyond.
The opening ceremony was followed by the launch of a publication entitled ‘the Ai To’os Collection’ which was produced by the State Secretariat of Culture of the Ministry of Education of Timor-Leste. Financially supported through UNESCO’s programme of CapEFA (Capacity Development for Education For All), the publication introduces – in Tetun, Portuguese and English – historical cultural objects in order to raise people’s awareness of their own rich cultural heritage while promoting literacy rates in the country. Mr Anwar Alsaid, Head of Education of UNESCO Office, Jakarta who was present at the launching ceremony emphasised that UNESCO stands ready to assist the government and people of Timor-Leste through an intersectoral approach in the fields of education and culture, ie. in promoting and preserving Timor-Leste’s rich cultural heritage and to ensure that this heritage is documented.
The three day capacity building workshop was followed by a visit to Suai, the capital of Cova Lima District in Timor-Leste which will be a pilot site for the Community-based Inventorying workshop, which shall be held in September 2012. During the visit, the members of the State Secretariat of Culture of the Ministry of Education of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste and UNESCO staff met the leaders of the traditional community in Suai and had the opportunity to observe the vernacular architecture settlements, traditional dance, performed by the local community group members, and a tais traditional textile weaving workshop in Cova Lima District.
Capacity building on ratification in Samoa14/15-02-2012, Apia (Samoa)
Capacity Building Workshop on the Ratification of UNESCO 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage14/15-11-2011, Dili (Timor-Leste)
As part of UNESCO’s global capacity building strategy to implement Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, a two day workshop on Ratification of the Convention was organised in Dili, Timor-Leste from 14 to 15 November 2011. This workshop, organized jointly by the State Secretariat of Culture of the Ministry of Education for the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste and UNESCO Office in Jakarta, gathered some 40 participants including governmental officials from the relevant ministries, academicians, NGOs, and chief of cultural section in the districts in Timor-Leste.
Capacity building for the implementation of the Intangible Cultural Heritage Convention more effectively at national level is currently a high priority in UNESCO’s programmes and UNESCO has dedicated great efforts in developing training materials on following topics addressing the most urgent needs of the states: Ratification, Implementation of the Convention, Community-based Inventorying and Preparing Nominations for the Lists of the Convention. The objective of this workshop was therefore to assist participants in acquiring a broad understanding of the Convention, and how and why member states may wish to ratify it. A profound knowledge and understanding of the Convention and its concepts, measures and mechanisms is pivotal for its successful ratification and future implementation.
The workshop consisted of ‘classroom’ style training activities to demonstrate the essential features of the Convention, to acquire a broad understanding of the Convention, to learn best practices of the ratified countries, to guide practically the country’s ratification to the Convention. It is divided into three main topics:
- Introduction to the Convention and its key concepts;
- Implementing the Convention at the national level; and
- Participation of communities and roles of stakeholders in safeguarding.
Workshop on the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage in Palau23/25-02-2010, Koror (Palau)
The meeting was aimed at providing a forum for representatives of the Council of Traditional Leaders, civil society, NGOs, governmental officers, and others to discuss strategies and action plans for safeguarding Palau’s intangible cultural heritage as well as promoting a better understanding of UNESCO’s programmes, in particular the 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage. The meeting covered various topics, ranging from a national legal framework for cultural resource management to educational and training activities for safeguarding intangible cultural heritage. The workshop resulted in consolidating, with the support of traditional leaders, the national platform for the safeguarding of cultural heritage and produced a better understanding of the 2003 Convention as a tool for assisting Palau in its safeguarding efforts. In April, a follow-up meeting will be organized so that Palau continues moving toward the ratification of the Convention.
Contact in UNESCO Apia office: Ms Akatsuki Takahashi
Inter-departmental Meeting on the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage18/19-03-2008, Port Moresby (Papua New Guinea)
- The Minister of Culture of Papua New Guinea, Hon. Charles Abel, with some of the participants
- © UNESCO
The objective of the inter-departmental meeting was to bring together all the governmental actors involved in the ratification procedure by Papua New Guinea of the 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage.
During the sub-regional meeting in the Pacific on the 2003 Convention, organized in Nadi, Fiji in December 2007, several participating States, including Papua New Guinea, requested assistance from UNESCO in preparing the ratification and implementation of the 2003 Convention in the Pacific. The Director General of UNESCO, during his official visit to Papua New Guinea in February 2008, affirmed UNESCO’s readiness to fully assist the Government through the organization of a national consultation meeting.
Through the meeting organized with the support of Japanese Funds in Trust, UNESCO provided the Government with assistance necessary to present a proposal for the ratification of the 2003 Convention at the National Parliament. The meeting also aimed at reinforcing capacity of governmental officers in the field of culture as well as stakeholders concerned in participating at the international level in the implementation of the Convention, in particular through the submission of intangible heritage elements for inscription on the lists of the Convention and the submission of international assistance requests.
- Meeting venue: Crown Plaza Hotel, Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea
- Agenda (English)
- List of participants (English)
Hon. Charles Abel MP, Minister for Culture and Tourism of Papua New Guinea (English)
Dr. Jacob Simet, National Cultural Commission of Papua New Guinea (English)
International Treaty Making Procedures in Papua New Guinea, by Mr Fred Sarufa (English)
State of legislation for the safeguarding of Papua New Guinea Intangible Cultural Heritage, by Mr Hale Lahui (English)
- Conclusion (English)
Sub-regional meeting in Nadi, Fiji, on the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage12/14-12-2007, Nadi (Fiji)
- © UNESCO
The meeting was organized by UNESCO, in cooperation with the Fijian authorities and with the financial support of Japan, to provide updated information on the activities carried out at the international level for safeguarding intangible heritage and on the possible benefits of ratifying the 2003 Convention for Pacific States. Some 30 participants from 19 pacific States and territories, as well as from three pacific organizations, exchanged their views and experiences in safeguarding their countries’ living heritage. The meeting was opened by Fiji’s honorable Minister for Education and Culture, Mr Netani Sukanaivalu.
The meeting contributed to sharing concerns and experiences concerning inventorying intangible cultural heritage, indigenous rights and intellectual property rights, as well as clarifying misunderstandings about the relation of the 2003 Convention to other normative instruments. The meeting also served as a first step to develop a medium term strategy for the safeguarding of the Pacific’s intangible heritage within the framework of the implementation of the Convention. It would include the organization of national consultative meetings aimed at providing necessary assistance for stakeholders who will be involved in the ratification and implementation of the Convention in each country.
The meeting was closed by the Honorable Minister of Culture of Palau, Mr Alexander Merep, who underscored the important role that the Convention will have in contributing to intercultural dialogue and sustainable development.
- List of participants (English)
- Agenda (English)
- Marcelin Abong: The experience of safeguarding of the intangible heritage in the Republic of Vanuatu (English)
- James Andrew Cormack Mc Kenzie: Intangible Cultural Heritage Convention, issues from a New Zealand perspective (English)
- Lawrence Foana’ota: Safeguarding the traditional knowledge of dolphin calling in North Malaita, Solomon Islands (English)
- Sipiriano Nemani: Cultural mapping: an approach to safeguarding indigenous fijians intangible cultural heritage (Notes: English; Slideshow: English ©INSTITUTE OF FIJIAN LANGUAGE & CULTURE)
- Hon. Albert Tu’ivanuavou Vaea: Our Oral History is Memorized in Our Singing and Dances, Tonga (English)
- Final report (English)
Action Plan for the Safeguarding of Baul Songs12-2008/10-2010, Bangladesh
- Baul songs
- © Bangladesh National Commission for UNESCO
The Bauls are minstrels who travel from village to village, earning their living by singing. Their music, poetry and way of life have profoundly influenced Bengali culture. Bauls do not identify themselves with any organized religion nor with the caste system. They emphasize the importance of the human body as the place where God resides.
While Bauls are scattered all over the country as well as in west Bengal (India), the project concentrates on the Baul community from the Kushtia region where a great Baul Guru of Bengal, Lalon Shah, lived and created a tradition of intergenerational transmission of Baul songs. The project aims at ensuring the proper transmission of Baul songs through a series of workshops bringing together gurus and young Baul apprentices. Gurus, experts and scholars will study and evaluate the transmission process with a view to extend it to other regions with Baul communities. In parallel, a census of Bauls all over the country will be made to establish a register of minstrels and gurus. Meanwhile, documentation will be gathered leading to the publication of notations and recordings of Baul songs. A book on Baul songs for promotional purposes and the organization of Baul Melas (fairs) will raise awareness among the general public of the Baul heritage and of the importance of supporting its bearers.
Safeguarding of the Art of the Akyns, Kyrgyz Epic Tellers02-2005/10-2009, Kyrgyzstan
- Art of Akyns, Kyrgyz epic tellers
- © Kyrgyz National Commission for UNESCO
The pre-eminent Kyrgyz epic, the Manas trilogy, is an oral encyclopaedia of Kyrgyz social values and history. Performed at seasonal ceremonies, national holidays and other social gatherings, the Manas epic continues to inspire contemporary Kyrgyz writers and composers.
Studios for young Akyns in various regions of Kyrgyzstan will be opened, and contests among those attending the studios will be organized. A concert tour consisting of both famous Akyns and the most talented youth from Akyn studios will also be staged in two regions. The compilation and publication of a representative, concise edition of the Manas, the pre-eminent Kyrgyz epic, and its translation into Russian will be undertaken.
The tradition of tutorship and the master-apprentice method of transmitting the art of the Akyns will be revitalized. Kyrgyz scholars of epic poetry and cultural workers will be trained in state-of-the-art methods of digitization and archival management, including digital archives. The project intends to renew and promote interest in the art of the Akyns in Kyrgyzstan and abroad and ultimately recover the prestige of being an Akyn.
- Summary description of the project (English)
Action Plan for the Safeguarding and promotion of the Drametse Ngacham10-2006/08-2009, Bhutan
- Mask dance of the drums from Drametse
- © Yoshi Shimizu
The Drametse festival, held in honour of a Buddhist guru, is attended by people from Drametse as well as neighbouring villages. The highlight of this festival is the Drametse gacham, a sacred mask dance, introduced in the sixteenth century and performed ever since.
The safeguarding project primarily seeks to create sustainable foundations for the transmission of skills and expertise related to the Drametse Ngacham to new generations of practitioners. It will also conduct research and collect existing knowledge and expertise concerning the choreography as well as raising awareness of the value of this tradition and the importance of safeguarding it. While the project will focus on the Drametse community, activities will also be conducted in other areas where the dance is performed. It will thus encompass activities such as training workshops for dancers (bringing together masters and dancers), teacher training and introducing the dance in schools. Other activities will include audiovisual documentation of knowledge and skills of old masters, compilation of existing documentation, as well as increasing public awareness through performances and publications.
Indigenous Language Revitalization and Preservation in Melanesia and the Pacific (Phase II)01-2006/05-2009, Papua New Guinea - Solomon Islands - Vanuatu
A great number of Melanesian languages are in danger of disappearing due to the decrease in use and the lack of orthographies of these languages. The project was designed to preserve and revitalize languages without written forms in three Melanesian countries, i.e. Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu.
The objectives of the safeguarding project are to:
- Encourage local communities to value their languages as an important aspect of intangible heritage;
- Encourage local initiatives and efforts to ensure maintenance of cultural identity through linguistic programs;
- Provide linguistic data for endangered languages as a basis for preparing linguistic material for literacy classes and basic education;
- Provide means and tools to local communities, particularly to children and youth, to learn and maintain their languages;
- Enhance local capacities (train students, field workers and community activists) in language documentation.
The main activities include:
- Train students of linguistics and community field workers to conduct fieldwork for collecting and analyzing linguistic data;
- Conduct linguistic surveys to document Melanesian languages in danger;
- Develop teaching material in the countries based in the collected data for each language (word lists, orthography, primers, grammar sketches, etc.).
Safeguarding of Nha nhac, Vietnamese Court Music01-2005/03-2009, Viet Nam
- Nha Nhac, Vietnamese court music
- © Hue Monument Conservation Centre
An essential part of royal ceremonies, court music was a means of communicating with and paying tribute to the gods and kings as well as transmitting knowledge about nature and the universe. This musical tradition has been kept alive by the few surviving former court musicians.
The project includes documentation as well as a systematic inventory of all practitioners of Nha nhac. Through the organization of workshops, it also seeks to provide sustainable foundations for the transmission of skills to the younger generations.
The project is expected to enhance the capacity of the technical staff dealing with surveying and documentation. It will also enable the development of a legal framework for the protection of aging artists. The publication of promotional documentations, the revitalization of old repertories and the reproduction of traditional costumes and musical instruments will all contribute to raising awareness regarding the significance of this cultural expression.
Safeguarding of Lakalaka, Sung Speeches with Choreographed Movements01-2005/12-2008, Tonga
- Lakalaka, dances and sung speeches of Tonga
- © Adrienne Kaeppler/UNESCO
A blend of dances, recitations, songs and music, the Lakalaka involves up to several hundred people aligned in rows dancing in rapid and energetic movements. Practised by communities throughout the islands, it features themes related to Tongan history, legends, values and social structures.
The objectives of the safeguarding project are to:
- Document and record information and knowledge about Lakalaka and its practitioners;
- Enhance knowledge, skills and appreciation of Lakalaka traditions, especially among younger generations;
- Raise awareness among the Tongan population and internationally about the importance of safeguarding Lakalaka.
The main activities include:
- Undertake nation-wide field research to record Lakalaka and its practitioners;
- Establish and update a database on Lakalaka and its recognized practitioners;
- Publish a book of Lakalaka texts as an outcome of oral history and archival research;
- Organize capacity building activities such as youth competitions and festivals;
- Promote and safeguard Lakalaka traditions to culminate during the Coronation of George Tupou Von on 1st August 2008.
Action plan for the safeguarding of the Royal Ballet11-2005/12-2008, Cambodia
- Danseuses effectuant des mouvements de main caractéristiques
- © Ministère de la Culture et des Beaux-Arts
Graceful hand gestures, elaborate choreography and stunning costumes distinguish the Khmer classical dance. This project has been designed to ensure the safeguarding of the Khmer Royal Ballet and to support the preservation and promotion of this cultural expression.
The project seeks to provide sustainable foundations for the transmission of skills to the younger generations and to promote awareness of the value of – as well as of the importance to safeguard - this intangible cultural heritage among the Cambodian community. Therefore, the action plan focuses on several priorities including the capacity building for Cambodian staff in the field of research and project management, documentation of knowledge and skills from old masters to prevent its loss, improvement of professionals’ expertise and facilities, advance training workshops for dancers, training of teachers, increasing public awareness through performances.
The project activities include four components:
- Research and documentation;
- Development of education programme for both professionals and amateurs;
- Support for the development of the national troupe;
- Facilitation of public access to Royal Ballet performances.
Safeguarding of Vanuatu Sand Drawings03-2005/07-2008, Vanuatu
- Vanuatu sand drawings
- © Vanuatu National Cultural Council
Sand drawing is a multifunctional “writing” produced on the ground, in sand, volcanic ash or clay, using one finger to draw a graceful, often symmetrical composition of geometric patterns. It serves as a means of communication among the members of some 80 ethnolinguistic groups.
The objectives of the safeguarding project are to:
- Raise awareness about the importance of the sand drawings at the community, provincial and national levels ;
- Revitalize the practice of sand drawings in tradition-bearing communities and enhance the conditions for the on-going transmission of the tradition;
- Incorporate the study of sand drawings into school curricula;
- Elaborate a national law for the protection of traditional knowledge and culture so as to safeguard sand drawings and related cultural expressions.
The main activities include:
- Identify sand drawing designs and stories that can be used in the public realm and establish a database and an Internet site dedicated to sand drawings;
- Study opportunities and requirement for introducing sand drawings into the national curriculum and develop a teacher’s guide for teaching sand drawings;
- Draft a national law for the protection of traditional knowledge and culture for nationwide consultations.
- Organize public events, such as performances, exhibitions and festivals to promote and transmit the skills of expert sand drawers;
- Establish permanent interactive sand drawing display for the National Museum of Vanuatu.
National inventory revival of the traditional ceramics01-2003/07-2008, Uzbekistan
Uzbek potters used special techniques for producing the famous bluecoloured glaze to decorate vessels and tiles. Many sacred monuments in the city of Samarkand, the ancient centre of this art, memorialize this century-old tradition.
The project aimed to revive the technique of producing the traditional plant-based glaze of the region for application in ceramic vessels and architectural restoration, and to support the potters working within the historical ceramic traditions of Central Asia. The project, which involved the making of a special kiln according to historical models, was successful in rediscovering the traditional technology employed to produce the type of blue-glazed kashin used in Timurid Samarkand. The process of preparing the clay and glaze was recorded on video. Based on the recommendations of experts at an international symposium in Samarkand (2002), UNESCO initiated a follow-up to the project, mainly to establish an inventory of the traditional ceramics of Central Asia and create a new folk potters association.
Safeguarding and Transmission of the Hudhud Chants of the Ifugao05-2003/04-2008, Philippines
- Hudhud chants of the Ifugao
- © 2008 by R.Rastrollo/NCCA-IHC
Well known for their rice terraces and extensive knowledge of rice cultivation, the Ifugao perform the Hudhud chants during the sowing and harvest seasons and at funeral wakes. The chants are transmitted orally and tell about ancestral heroes, customary law, traditional practices and religious beliefs.
The project aims to collect, document and record the Hudhud as well as integrate it into local school programmes, create schools in order to teach it and ensure its transmission as a living tradition to new generations of practitioners. Finally, the project will promote the Hudhud through chanting competitions, performances and exhibitions. The preliminary documentary work has begun. Teaching the Hudhud has become an integral part of the provincial school curriculum and those/the schools that will be responsible for the transmission of the Hudhud have already been identified.
Implementation of the National Action Plan for the Safeguarding of the Wayang Puppet Theatre of Indonesia01-2005/12-2007, Indonesia
- Wayang puppet theatre
- © “Sena wangi” national secretariat
To enliven the highly crafted rod puppets, master puppeteers manipulate the swivelling arms and legs by means of sticks, accompanied by a narrator and gamelan orchestra. The plays combine local myths, Indian epics and Persian tales with contemporary issues.
While this project encompasses many activities, such as field research, documentation and a publication on the Wayang, its most important component is an in-depth training programme. Pilot projects centred on five different kinds of Wayang will be launched in a total of ten existing and new sanggars (informal Wayang schools), with a view to educating select students over a three-year period.
The project aims to enable more effective transmission from master artists to young artists of the knowledge and skills required for the performance of Wayang theatre. An inventory of sanggars and Wayang practitioners as well as audio-visual educational kits and guidebooks on various forms of Wayang will enhance the general public’s appreciation for this tradition.
- Summary description of the project (English)
Safeguarding and Transmission of the Kutiyattam Sanskrit Theatre01-2004/10-2007, India
- Kutiyattam, Sanskrit theatre
- © UNESCO/Moe Chiba
Kutiyattam is the oldest surviving form of Sanskrit theatre in Kerala, India, which developed a rich symbolic set of facial gestures, masks, and colorful costumes. This project aimed to bring Kutiyattam performers, previously working separately, together in creative exchange and expand the interest in their art. The long-term objectives were to:
- Create a network of Kutiyattam institutions and gurukalam (learning centres)
- Nurture the transmission to future generations
- Develop new audiences for Kutiyattam
- Foster further academic research on Kutiyattam
To address them, the project activities included the organization of:
- A Network of Kutiyattam Associations through joint coordination meetings of Kutiyattam institutions and gurukalam (learning centres), as well as the compilation of a Kutiyattam Register of traditional families and individual practitioners
- Training workshops and art camps for young artists and an increased number of performances, while the wider public was engaged in public performances and festivals
- Workshop for performers to handle palm-leaf manuscripts of Kutiyattam, often in possession of families; re-edition of old palm-leaf manuscripts and production of new plays; and audio-visual recordings and a series of documentary films
- Academic seminars and publications
A major result was that for the first time Kutiyattam performers cooperated in an association to address common issues and exchange practices, which in the past was kept privately in the last three custodian families. Such generation of social capital in communication is crucial to the survival of any cultural practice.
Full project description : English in preparation
Safeguarding Shashmaqom, the Classical Music of Central Asia01-2005/10-2007, Uzbekistan - Tajikistan
- Shashmaqom music
- © UNESCO
Le projet prévoit la production de documents audiovisuels (sous forme numérique) sur le shashmaqom par une équipe de spécialistes, de scientifiques et de musicologues dans les deux pays, la publication d’études scientifiques, l’organisation conjointe par les deux pays de conférences, d’expositions et de festivals et une aide aux facteurs reconnus d’instruments de musique. Des cours publics seront en outre organisés dans les deux pays pour assurer la transmission des techniques vocales et instrumentales traditionnelles.
Les résultats escomptés à la fin du projet sont les suivants: renforcement des compétences locales dans le domaine de la recherche, de l’enregistrement et de la production de documents audiovisuels; mise en place à l’échelle locale, nationale et internationale de réseaux de spécialistes, de musiciens et d’institutions s’intéressant au shashmaqom et à d’autres formes de maqoms, et promotion de relations durables dans ce domaine.
Implementation of the National Action Plan for the Safeguarding of Traditional Morin Khuur Music of Mongolia09-2004/09-2007, Mongolia
- Traditional music of the Morin Khuur
- © Mongolian National Centre for Intangible Heritage
A prominent musical expression among nomadic Mongolians, the Morin Khuur is an integral part of rituals and everyday activities. Distinct in sound, this two-stringed fiddle is characterized by its long neck bearing a carved horse head, reflecting the all-important cult of the horse among the nomad communities.
Intensive field research was undertaken to obtain updated information on diverse forms of Morin Khuur and its master players. A training workshop was organized in order to provide master players with basic teaching skills necessary to conduct training courses in the Morin Khuur traditions to be organized at pilot secondary schools in four administrative regions in Mongolia. A national Morin Khuur competition and festival was also organized and broadcast nationwide.
Field research extended and updated the existing archive of the Morin Khuur tradition and its master players. The training workshop contributed to strengthen the capacities essential to the preservation of the tradition. Masters were encouraged to preserve and transmit their traditional skills. Competitions and festivals enhanced the knowledge of and appreciation by young people for the Morin Khuur.
- Summary description of the project (English)
Traditional Money Banks in Vanuatu07-2004/06-2007, Vanuatu
- Celebration of 2007, the Year of the Traditional Economy in Vanuatu
- © Kirk Huffman
This project was designed to establish and promote traditional money banks that would allow people who are involved in the production of various forms of traditional wealth to continue producing such wealth while those who are primarily involved in the cash economy can have access to the traditional valuables needed for ceremonial activities.
Through this project, sufficient data on traditional money banking mechanisms and local communities demanding maintenance and revitalization of their traditional money systems was collected. Local populations were actively involved in the project; traditional money bank systems were established in many islands in Vanuatu, providing them with infrastructure materials necessary to establish traditional money banks. The project also resulted in the Vanuatu Government declaring “the Year of Traditional Economy 2007” so as to ensure the importance of traditional economy for self-reliance and sustainable development.
Establishment of Inventory and Preparation of a Ten-Year Master Plan for Safeguarding the Traditional Culture and Folklore of the Boysun District05-2003/06-2005, Uzbekistan
- Cultural space of Boysun District
- © National Commission of Uzbekistan
Boysun, located in south-eastern Uzbekistan, is known as one of the oldest inhabited areas of Central Asia. Local people gather to practice traditional rites such as the sowing ritual, wedding ceremonies, circumcisions of boys, funeral rites, and shamanistic rituals.
The project action plan included training tradition bearers, teachers and students to undertake field research, involving audio-visual documentation, ethnomusicological methodology and practices, as well as the establishment and maintenance of an electronic inventory of the performing arts, popular traditions and handicrafts of the Boysun district. Text materials, audio and video recordings and photos were collected during field research in 2004. The publication of a digital inventory followed, including DVDs and audio CDs. The Master Plan to be elaborated on the basis of this project entailed the preparation of legal provisions to protect the Boysun district as a cultural and natural park, the transmission of intangible cultural heritage elements through educational and training programmes for young performers and the publication of an atlas and illustrated monograph on Boysun handicrafts and folklore.
Safeguarding, Revitalization and Promotion of the Kunqu Opera05-2002/12-2002, China
- Kun Qu opera
- © Chinese Academy of Arts
Rooted in popular theatre, Kun Qu influenced many other forms of Chinese opera. It is characterized by a dynamic structure, rhythmic patterns, typical melodies and complex choreography combining acrobatics and symbolic gestures. Kun Qu is considered the oldest form of Chinese opera still performed.
This project funded the annual National Kunqu Festival in Suzhou, China, where twenty-one prizes were awarded to performers from Kunqu opera schools across the country. The project also enabled many famous Kunqu artists to give training courses to over two hundred students from numerous Kunqu companies. Furthermore, these events and training sessions generated increased awareness regarding the significance of transmitting the Kunqu performing arts. The project also mobilized local, regional and national institutions, which have initiated activities and policies to enhance the dissemination of Kunqu opera.