Comoros is undertaking a pilot inventory of their intangible cultural heritage with the participation of communities in Grande Comore

A traditional dancer, Goma la Malinda, Moheli (Comoros) ©DGAC/Comores

A UNESCO project is supporting Comoros to inventory their intangible cultural heritage in Grande Comore from 1 to 10 August 2019 following an inventory on the island of Anjouan from 15 to 25 June 2019 and in Mohéli from 19 to 29 July 2019.

With financial support from the Authority for Tourism and Culture of Abu Dhabi (ADTCA) Funds-in-Trust to UNESCO, the Comoros Ministry of Youth, Sports, Professional Integration, Arts, Crafts and Culture and the UNESCO Regional Office for Eastern Africa are carrying-out a pilot inventory of intangible cultural heritage of Comoros using participatory video as part of the "Capacity building project for the safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage for sustainable development in the Comoros."

A dozen participants from three islands of the Union of the Comoros under the leadership of the Directorate General of Arts and Culture, represented by Mrs. Wahidat Hassani and the national expert, Mr. Missoubahouddine Ben Ahmed, have formed teams of 5 people on each island bringing together: the Regional Directorates of Arts and Culture, the regional branches of the National Center for Documentation and Scientific Research (CNDRS) and community practitioners to carry out an inventory of the intangible cultural heritage of the Comoros.

The pilot inventory follows a national training in carrying-out inventories using participatory video, which gathered 27 participants from the three islands, which was carried out from 19 to 29 March 2019 in Moroni and facilitated by: the UNESCO expert, Mr. Mohamed Lemine Beidjeu, the national expert of Intangible Cultural Heritage, the Regional Director of the CNDRS in Anjouan, Mr. Missoubahouddine Ben Ahmed and the Créations NEXTEZ company.

The pilot inventory aimed to:

Involve fifteen people, at least half of whom participated in the theoretical workshop;

Pay particular attention to the practices of groups and / or minority populations present on the territory;

Highlight the participation of womens collectives and / or other groups;

Identify cultural expressions and practices shared by communities of different origins as an expression of dialogue between groups;

Produce inventory videos of intangible cultural heritage elements of the Comoros.

The inventory teams have already identified 15 elements of intangible cultural heritage thanks to the work carried out on the 3 islands. This fieldwork confirmed the skills acquired during the theoretical inventory training carried out last March.

The national authorities will now reflect on how best to offer wide access to this first inventory of intangible cultural heritage.

"The Regional Directorates of Arts and Culture, CNDRS and practitioners are highly motivated to make the most of the knowledge and skills acquired during the training and inventory fieldwork of intangible cultural heritage," said Ms. Djabhana Said-Ibrahim, UNESCO Project Coordinator in Comoros. "The teams are currently thinking about the next steps in safeguarding their intangible cultural heritage practices," she added.



UNESCO 2003 Convention

UNESCO project

Project launch in 2018

Comoros legislative framework


Centre National de Documentation et de Recherche Scientifique (CNDRS)