Japan Funds-in-Trust for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage
- 2005 brochure on UNESCO/Japan Funds-in-Trust brochure English-Japanese
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.
Training on the use of the mechanisms of the 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage 14/22-10-2013, Santiago del Estero and Buenos Aires (Argentina)
From 14 to 22 October 2013, capacity-building sessions on preparing nominations to the Lists of UNESCO’s Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage take place in Argentina, first in Santiago del Estero, in the Gran Chaco Region, and then in Buenos Aires. At their end, about 70 participants, including government officials and members of non-governmental organizations involved in safeguarding cultural heritage from Argentina, but also from Paraguay and Uruguay, will have received theoretical and practical training on the nomination process understood as a planning process of community-based safeguarding measures.
Facilitated by two UNESCO-trained experts, Adriana Molano Arenas from Colombia and Mónica Lacarrieu from Argentina, these workshops bring to a close a capacity-building programme on the Convention supported by UNESCO/Japan Funds-in-Trust which for more than one year has provided to its beneficiaries substantial training on the implementation of the Convention at the national level and community-based inventorying of intangible cultural heritage.
Jamaica pushes on with the inventory of its living heritage04/13-09-2013, Kingston (Jamaica)
Less than a year after hosting a foundational workshop on the implementation of the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage at the national level and the development of a plan of action to this effect, Jamaica is mobilising community practitioners and representatives of its governmental and non-governmental organisations to push forward with the inventorying of its living heritage.
Organized by the African Caribbean Institute of Jamaica/Jamaica Memory Bank in collaboration with the Jamaica National Commission for UNESCO and the UNESCO Kingston Cluster Office for the Caribbean, a national workshop on community-based inventorying of intangible cultural heritage will take place in Kingston from 4 to 13 September 2013.
A significant step in the safeguarding of living heritage in Jamaica, the workshop will focus on community participation in the identification and inventorying of intangible cultural heritage, data collection, organization and management, and hands-on experience in preparing field work. The workshop along with the field exercise will set the stage for a pilot inventory activity to follow in proceeding months.
Funded by the Government of Japan, the workshop is part of a sub-regional project being implemented in Belize, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago within the context of UNESCO’s global strategy on capacity building to safeguard intangible cultural heritage. It will be facilitated by UNESCO trained experts Dr. Harriet Deacon and Dr. Kris Rampersad.
Inventorying of living heritage in Trinidad and Tobago
22-06-2013/01-07-2013, Port of Spain (Trinidad and Tobago)
Community practitioners, government officials and members of non-governmental organizations are mobilizing themselves for a national workshop on inventorying of intangible cultural heritage to be held in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago from 22 June to 1 July 2013.
Organized by the Trinidad and Tobago National Commission for UNESCO, the Ministry of the Arts & Multiculturalism of Trinidad and Tobago and the UNESCO Kingston Cluster Office for the Caribbean, the workshop marks a significant step in safeguarding the living heritage of Trinidad and Tobago. It will focus on community participation in the identification and inventory of intangible cultural heritage, organization and management of information, and hands-on experience in preparing field work. The field activity will be reinforced by a pilot inventory activity to follow in proceeding months.
Funded by the Government of Japan, the workshop is part of a sub-regional project being implemented in Belize, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago within the context of UNESCO’s global strategy on capacity building to safeguard intangible cultural heritage. It will be facilitated by UNESCO trained experts Harriet Deacon and Rieks Smeets.
A step further in the identification of intangible cultural heritage in Argentina25-02-2013/01-03-2013, Buenos Aires (Argentina)
From 25 February 25 to 1 March 2013, governments and civil society representatives of Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay will continue the capacity-building programme which was launched in October 2012 with the generous support of the UNESCO/Japan Funds-in-Trust. This time, an intensive training will be delivered on drawing up inventories of intangible cultural heritage. Again, Mónica Lacarrieu and Francisco López Morales will be in charge of this training which will emphasize the key role that the 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage grants to communities in the identification and definition of their heritage.
These sessions aim to equip participants with the fundamental knowledge and techniques to design and facilitate an inventorying process with the participation of communities and tailored to their particular circumstances. They will lay the groundwork for the field exercise that the tango community in Buenos Aires will carry out during five months.
Safeguarding “living heritage” of Jamaica10/14-12-2012, Kingston (Jamaica)
Jamaica will host a national workshop on the implementation of the 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage from 10 to 14 December 2012. Organized by The African Caribbean Institute of Jamaica, Ministry of Youth and Culture, the Jamaican National Commission for UNESCO and the UNESCO Kingston Cluster Office for the Caribbean, the workshop will bring together government officials, non-governmental organizations and community practitioners to partake in the workshop on the implementation of the 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage. The official opening will take place on 10 December 2012 at the Courtleigh Hotel and Suites in Kingston with the presence of H.E. Yasuo Takase, Ambassador of Japan to Jamaica, Belize and The Bahamas, along with representatives from government and non-government institutions, universities, the diplomatic corps and the UN Agencies in Jamaica.
This workshop is part of a sub-regional project being implemented in Belize, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago within the context of UNESCO’s Global Strategy on capacity building on intangible cultural heritage. Funded by the government of Japan, this project includes an assessment of the intangible cultural heritage related policy development process in the respective countries and identification of their specific needs for safeguarding their living heritage. As a part of strengthening their safeguarding capacities, countries will also develop and implement a framework for community based inventory of the intangible cultural heritage in their territory, which will include pilot inventories.
Safeguarding of living heritage builds in Belize!05/09-11-2012, Belize City (Belize)
At the time of growing interest surrounding the development of a national cultural policy in Belize, UNESCO has launched under its global strategy, a two and a half year project that will help the country safeguard its living heritage.
Thanks to funding from Japan, Belize is one of three Caribbean countries, along with Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago that will benefit from this safeguarding initiative. With nation-wide consultations ensuing with the development of its national cultural policy, the project is rather timely for Belize. It will follow the development of the ICH related policy and help to bridge the way forward.
On the 5 to 9 November at the House of Culture in Belize City, community bearers of intangible cultural heritage along with officials of the National Institute of Culture and History, non-governmental representatives and cultural experts will come together to partake in a workshop on the implementation of the Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage.
The next step to follow is the development and implementation of a framework for community based inventory of the intangible cultural heritage in Belize, which is slated for 2013.
“Patrimonio Vivo”: three South American countries team up for the implementation of the 2003 Convention08/12-10-2012, Salta (Argentina)
Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay are engaging in a capacity-building program for the safeguarding of their living heritage: entitled “Patrimonio Vivo”, the project is led by UNESCO Montevideo Office and financed thanks to the resources of the Japan Funds-in-Trust.
The first workshop, to be organized during the second week of October 2012, will introduce the key concepts and mechanisms of the Convention. It will focus on the challenges of its implementation, not only on a national but on a sub-regional level: indeed, cooperation between the three countries lies at the core of the project.
The workshop will bring together communities, experts and authorities from the North-Eastern Argentinean provinces Catamarca, Jujuy, Salta, Tucumán, Santiago del Estero, but also delegations from Uruguay and from Paraguay, including representatives of the Museo del Barro in Asunción in Paraguay.
It will be conducted by two UNESCO-trained facilitators: Mr. Francisco López Morales, Director of the Department of World Heritage at the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INHA) of Mexico, and Mrs. Mónica Lacarrieu, Director of the Cultural Anthropology Programme of the Institute of Anthropological Sciences at the University of Buenos Aires (UBA).
Safeguarding intangible cultural heritage of Kallawaya communities02-2014/12-2015, Bolivia (Plurinational State of)
- Andean cosmovision of the Kallawaya
Los kallawayas, famosos por su vasto conocimiento del mundo botánico y mineral, practican técnicas médicas y rituales de curación que son un fiel exponente del sistema de creencias indígenas. Su conocimiento de las plantas medicinales se amplía sin cesar, pues los curanderos kallawayas y sus aprendices buscan continuamente nuevos métodos de curación en los diversos y muy variados ecosistemas de la región andina.
The safeguarding action plan seeks, through intergenerational transmission, to ensure the preservation and transmission of the knowledge and wisdom of the Kallawaya culture, whose activity is bound to the ancestral healing medicine of the culture of the Andes.
The main objectives of the safeguarding project are to:
- promote the preservation and safeguarding of Kallawaya culture at local, regional and national levels;
- strengthen the techniques and transmission of traditional medicine,
- strengthen the knowledge concerning healing with natural medicines;
- create the necessary conditions to ensure the transmission of the traditional knowledge;
- promote Kallawaya culture, as part of the multicultural identity of Bolivia; and
- to promote the practice of traditional medicine in hospitals of the municipalities of the Bautista Saavedra province.
Safeguarding Intangible Cultural Heritage of Belize, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago through strengthening their capacities for implementation of the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage06-2012/11-2015, Belize - Jamaica - Trinidad and Tobago
This project aims at assisting Belize, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago to safeguard their intangible cultural heritage through the effective implementation of the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage. To that end, an integrated strategy will be implemented, including a series of well-prepared workshops and activities, tailored to respond to the identified needs of each country. Components to be covered include review of existing policies, implementation of the Convention at national level, community-based inventorying and evaluation.
Strengthening national capacities for effective safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage in Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay06-2012/02-2014, Argentina
The present project was among the first of its kind to be implemented in Latin America. It aimed at assisting Argentina as a priority and also Paraguay and Uruguay, in safeguarding their intangible cultural heritage by acquiring broad and solid knowledge of the 2003 Convention and its mechanism.
Workshops on the implementation of UNESCO’s 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage were organized at the national level. Delegates from governmental and civil society actors (community members, NGOs, academics) from Argentina and Uruguay participated in the workshops together with a civil society representative from Paraguay. A virtual network for exchange was established among all the participants as a platform for information, exchange, consultation, reflection, support and training among workshop participants.
Another facade of the project focused on community-based inventorying in the spirit of the 2003 Convention. Two training sessions were held in Buenos Aires City (Argentina) and a third one in Asunción (Paraguay). These sessions aimed at equipping participants with the fundamental knowledge and techniques to design and facilitate an inventorying process with the participation of communities and tailored to their particular circumstances.
Action Plan for the Safeguarding and Revitalization of the Cultural Space of the Holy Spirit Brotherhood of the Villa Mella’s Congos01-2003/12-2009, Dominican Republic
- Cultural space of the Brotherhood of the Holy Spirit of the Congos of Villa Mella
The Brotherhood of the Holy Spirit of the Congos of Villa Mella is distinguished in the fields of music, dance and popular festivities. The musicians play hand-drums called congos, which origin is attributed to the Holy Spirit. The Festival of the Holy Spirit, celebrated at Pentecost, features prayers, dances and singing, accompanied by the music of the congos and a procession carrying the dove representing the Holy Spirit.
- Preservation and revitalization of the cultural space and to the promotion of intercultural exchanges.
- Integrate a larger part of the population into the celebrations and practices of the Brotherhood,older generations who are responsible for the continuation of the tradition.
- Inventories and documentation of the Brotherhood’s cultural expressions including music and dance
- Various workshops on the preservation of the oral tradition and the social memory of the cultural space will be carried out at local, regional and national levels
- A community centre hosting craftsmen’s workshops, performances, classes and symposia will be established.
Safeguarding of the Sacred Songs of the Voodoo Cult of the lakou Dereal of the Community of Bizoton05-2008/12-2009, Haiti
The Bizoton community is situated in the the Dereal lakou in Western Haïti. Every song and dance in the vodou cult can be associated with a prayer and every gesture that goes with it is codified in function of a specific divinity.
- Identification and documentation of the sacred songs of the vodou cult of the Dereal lakou
- Raise awareness among the members of the community of Bizoton of the value of their rich heritage *Promotion of the sacred songs of the vodou cult of the Dereal lakou
- Workshops on the methodology used for the creation of an inventory with the participation of the tradition bearers and the youngsters of the Bizoton Community
- Elaboration of an inventory of the sacred songs of the vodou cult of the Dereal lakou
- Production and dissemination of a CD
Action Plan for the Safeguarding of the Oruro Carnival04-2005/06-2009, Bolivia (Plurinational State of)
The main event of the Oruro Carnival is a procession of thousands of dancers and musicians. The sumptuous costumes, beautifully painted masks, folk dances and songs bear witness to the influence of indigenous and Spanish cultures.
The project aimed at increasing the viability of the Carnival through the reinforcement of existing transmission mechanisms, the introduction of new ones and raising awareness among all concerned parties as to its function and importance.
Field research was undertaken in order to inventory and catalogue the twenty-one dances and forty-seven fraternities of the Oruro Carnival in their interrelated aspects, which include music, costumes and choreography. The project also made a series of publications, documenting the results of the investigations, inventory-making activities and the project itself. Interactive workshops to train the actors involved directly and indirectly in the Carnival was also organized.
Strengthening the Transmission of the Traditional Textile Knowledge of Taquile12-2006/06-2009, Peru
- Taquile and its textile art
The island of Taquile in Titicaca lake is known for its weaving tradition preserving elements from pre-Hispanic Andean cultures. Weaving is done on fixed and pedal looms to produce characteristic garments. Taquile weaving uses new, contemporary symbols and images while retaining traditional styles and techniques.
The safeguarding action plan aims at preserving and enhancing the transmission of Taquile textile arts and thus to strengthening their cultural identity. The first activity aims at documenting the skills and knowledge involved in the textile arts as well as related social practices, through a local communal inventory of Taquile textile arts, elaborated by Taquile community members, especially young people. The second component is to strengthen intergenerational and inter-communal transmission of the technologies, aesthetics and cultural practices involved in textile arts by reinforcing local education institutions and promoting exchange of knowledge and skills between older and younger weavers. The third activity aims to promote Taquilean cultural and artistic expressions through producing a documentary video and a publication containing information on the other project components and developing educational materials to be used in Taquilean schools.
Action Plan for the Safeguarding of the Garifuna Language, Music and Dance04-2006/06-2009, Belize - Guatemala - Honduras - Nicaragua
The Garifuna communities, spread over Belize, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua, have kept alive their common language, oral traditions, music and dances. Although still practiced on various occasions, these are changing considerably as the Garifuna language is less often spoken.
The safeguarding project focuses mainly in the preservation of the Garifuna language through language revitalization, lexical expansion programs and the promotion of teaching, learning and practicing. It will also develop an inventory of Garifuna art forms (such as songs, music, dances and related customs etc.) and promote regional Garifuna festivals with a view to confronting the erosion of the Garifuna culture in the heart of modern day communities. As a general objective, the project seeks to strengthen the capacities of the Garifuna communities in order to promote the safeguarding of its heritage.
The proposed activities will be undertaken by means of the three following main components:
- Revitalization of the use of the Garifuna Language
- development of inventories and archives of Garifuna art forms
- dissemination and promotion of Garifuna Intangible Cultural Heritage
Action Plan for the Safeguarding of El Güegüense04-2007/03-2009, Nicaragua
- El Güegüense
Popular throughout Nicaragua, the El Güegüense is a satirical street drama accompanied by music and dance, developed in the eighteenth century. The beautifully costumed and masked protagonist, El Güegüe, cleverly uses verbal artistry in Spanish, Basque and Nahuatl, an Amerindian language, to demonstrate subservience to the colonial authorities while ridiculing them.
The safeguarding action plan intends to strengthen the conservation of the traditional structures of the phenomenon “El Güegüense”; to increase knowledge about this cultural expression; to promote cultural identity values and to reinforce financial support of the tradition.
The main activities include:
- establishing the National Council for the Safeguarding of El Güegüense;
- elaborating legislative measures to protect El Güegüense;
- inventorying and recording the cultural elements in the play El Güegüense;
- establishing awards for practitioners of the knowledge;
- designing programs that includes its knowledge and its study in school programs;
- creating a “Centro El Güegüense” in the city of Diriamba;
- promoting through transmission activities the handicrafts related to El Güegüense in order to develop support mechanisms contributing to the financial support to craftspeople and cultural industries dealing with the play.
Action Plan for the Safeguarding of the Traditional Knowledge, Oral and Graphic Expressions of the Wajapi in Amapa07-2006/11-2008, Brazil
- Oral and graphic expressions of the Wajapi
Wajapi communities in northern Amazonia have a long history of producing and using vegetable dyes to adorn their bodies with geometric motifs and symbols. Motifs of the jaguar, anaconda, butterfly and fish animate the worldview and oral traditions of the Wajapi.
The safeguarding project aims at supporting the Wajãpi in their efforts to document their skills, experiences and knowledge related to their manifold oral and graphic expressions as they are embodied, most prominently, in the kusiwa graphic system. This project will complement the broader set of activities undertaken by the “Wajãpi Programme”, which started in 1992.
The project focuses on documentation and dissemination of information related to the oral and graphic expressions of the Wajãpi. The participative documentation will be undertaken by the Wajãpi themselves. The project is composed of three main lines of action: (i) undertaking of an ethnological survey, (ii) elaboration of an inventory in the form of an electronic database in close cooperation with the respective custodians, (iii) implementation of dissemination and diffusion activities on Wajãpi oral and graphic expressions” focus on both young Wajãpi and public managers working with indigenous communities in order to increase their knowledge and appreciation of Wajãpi oral and graphic expressions and the need to safeguard the context in which they are practiced.
Action Plan for the Safeguarding of the Carnival of Barranquilla01-2005/10-2008, Colombia
- Carnival of Barranquilla
Masqueraded dancers, actors and musicians delight crowds through performances marked by European, African and indigenous influences. To enhance the transmission of the tradition, the Children’s Carnival was created and has become a vital element of the carnival.
- Field research to create an inventory and database and to select the expressions of the Carnival to be safeguarded
- Creation of a cultural map of the Colombian Caribbean region
- Support of the formation of the Network of the Carnival of Barranquilla, consisting of institutions involved in the preservation of this heritage.
- Assistance to seasoned performers in order to enable them to transmit their extensive choreographic, theatrical and musical know-how to younger generations.
These activities are intended to raise awareness among the inhabitants of the region as to the value of their cultural expressions and the urgent need to safeguard them. Conditions ensuring the continuation of the Carnival will be reinforced through a network and support systems for the local community.
Action Plan for the Safeguarding of La Tumba Francesa06-2005/08-2008, Cuba
- La Tumba Francesa
The dance, song and drumming style known as Tumba Francesa (French Drum) was brought to Cuba by Haitian slaves in the 1790s. It embodies one of the oldest and most tangible links to the Afro-Haitian heritage of Cuba’s Oriente province and developed from an eighteenth- century fusion of music from Dahomey in West Africa and traditional French dances.
- Ensure the viability of « La Tumba Francesa »
- Reinforcement of intergenerational transmission of knowledge and skills
- Creation of an inventory of the different elements of « La Tumba Francesa »
- Organisation of awareness-raising campaigns
- Establishment of capacity-building programmes
- Production of pedagogical publications and multimedia material
Bi-national Action Plan for the Safeguarding and Revitalization of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of the Zápara Community12-2005/09-2007, Ecuador - Peru
The Zápara communities in the Amazon have developed a complex oral culture expressed through their myths, rituals, artistic and medical practices. Their traditions are deeply marked by their environment and reflect a profound knowledge of the Amazonian jungle.
The project aimed at facilitaing the revival of the Zápara language and to encourage binational encounters in the hope of strengthening the organization of the Zápara community in Ecuador and Peru. The project also intended to ensure continued transmission of oral and other traditions and introduce such transmission in areas where native speakers no longer exist.
A census both in Ecuador and Peru was conducted in order to determine the number and exact location of all the members of the Zápara community and the degree of conservation of the Zápara language. Various meetings were organized in order to bring together the Zápara people in both countries, allowing them to meet one another and forge links.
Public awareness campaign in Colombia on the importance of safeguarding the intangible heritage (pilot project)07-2003/12-2005, Colombia
The Colombian government developed this pilot project within the framework of a promotional campaign titled Colombian Intangible Cultural Heritage: Show Who You Are. Through newspapers, national television stations and radio announcements, the project promotes the concept of intangible heritage, thereby sensitizing the general public as to the value of various types of intangible expressions from the country’s different cultures and regions. In addition to the publication of posters and brochures, training workshops were held for local authorities charged with developing inventories. Regional workshops were also organized for the staffs of cultural, education and communication institutions as well as for teachers, representatives of indigenous and Afro-Colombian communities and the general public.
Through regional workshops, the notion of “heritage” has been broadened so that Colombians now understand their traditions, folklore and especially their music, dances, crafts and celebrations as part of their nation’s heritage. This pilot project, designed to sensitize the general public and particularly young people regarding the value of the intangible heritage and its fragile nature, will serve as a future model for the other Latin American countries.