17.11.2010 - ODG

The Director-General pledges UNESCO’s support to safeguard Kenya’s Sacred Mijikenda Kaya Forests

© UNESCO/Lynne Patchett - UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova speaking to elders at the Rabai Kaya Forest in Kenya on 17 November 2010, during her official visit to the country

Today, 17 November 2010, the Director-General completed her official visit to Kenya by traveling to Mombasa from where she continued to the Rabai Kaya Forest, one of eleven Kayas inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List as “sacred Mijikenda Kaya Forests”.

Traditions and practices associated to the Kayas in the sacred forests of the Mijikenda were inscribed on the Urgent Safeguarding List established under the 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage.

Irina Bokova visited the sacred forest in the company of Kaya elders and Dr Ide Omar Farah, Director of National Museums of Kenya, Ambassador Mary Khimulu and Wilfred Ombui, Assistant Minister for National Heritage and Culture. She pledged UNESCO's support in safeguarding this important heritage.

The Director-General then traveled back to Kenya’s second largest city where she visited the Mombasa Old Town.

 




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