Cultural Heritage in Brazil

© Dominique Gallois
Wajãpi Indians - Intangible Heritage in Brazil

Cultural heritage is fundamental to people memory, identity and creativity and the richness of cultures.

World Cultural heritage: consists of monuments, groups of buildings or sites which have exceptional and universal historical, aesthetic, archaeological, scientific, ethnological or anthropological value.

Underwater Cultural Heritage: consists of archaeological sites underwater that encompass the vestiges of the cultural character, historical or archaeological of human existence submerged for at least 100 years.

World Natural Heritage: consists of physical, biological and geological outstanding formations, habitats of endangered animal and plant species and areas that have scientific, conservation or exceptional and universal aesthetic value.

Intangible Heritage: comprises the practices, representations, living expressions, traditional knowledge and techniques – together with associated instruments, objects, art crafts, and cultural places – that communities, groups, and  in some cases individuals, recognize as integrating part of their cultural heritage.

In this sense, UNESCO works driven by the Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage, which is today the UNESCO international tool that has received the accession of Member States, and also by the Convention for the Protection of Underwater Cultural Heritage and the Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage.

In Brazil, this work has meant fruitful collaborations with federal, state and local governments and with civil society. Today, the country has nineteen sites inscribed on the World Heritage List, recognized by their exceptional and universal value to the humanity culture.

In 2008, the Oral and Graphic Expressions of the Wajãpis from Amapá and the Samba de Roda of the Recôncavo Baiano were proclaimed as Prime Works of Oral and Intangible Heritage, and they were placed together with important cultural manifestations that constitute the World Intangible Heritage Representative List. Besides, UNESCO in Brazil participates and supports numerous initiatives in this field.

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