UNESCO: New inscriptions concerning Africa by the 9th Session of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage (24 – 28 November 2014)
Composed of 24 States and elected by the General Assembly of the States Parties to the 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, the Intergovernmental Committee meets once every year. This year the Committee reviewed periodic reports submitted by 27 States Parties on their implementation of the Convention. The Committee decided also about new inscriptions. As to Africa the following proposals were approved
Two new inscriptions to the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding
- Kenya: Isukuti dance of Isukha and Idakho communities of Western Kenya
The Isukuti dance is a traditional celebratory performance practised among the Isukha and Idakho communities of Western Kenya. It takes the form of a fast-paced, energetic and passionate dance accompanied by drumming and singing
The male-child cleansing ceremony, performed among the Lango people of central northern Uganda, is a ritual for a male child believed to have lost his masculinity.
Seven new inscription to the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity
Rural women and, to a lesser extent, men living in the Arganeraie Biosphere Reserve in Morocco practise traditional methods to extract oil from the fruit of the argan tree. The oil has multiple uses in cooking, medicine and cosmetics, and is given as a wedding gift.
- Mali: Coming forth of the masks and puppets in Markala
The coming forth of the masks and puppets is a ritual festivity practised among communities in Markala. During the dry season, young neophytes pass through rituals performed in a sacred wood next to the Niger River and characterized by masked dances and puppetry.
Joking relationships are a social practice performed to regulate social relationships and ease tensions among persons of different ethnolinguistic communities. Members are required to tell each other the truth, joke and play games together, and pool their respective assets, knowing that any dispute must be settled peacefully.
The ritual and ceremonies of Sebeïba are practiced by two communities living in Djanet in the first month of the Islamic lunar calendar. Male dancers and female singers compete to represent their communities during a nine-day contest.
- Burundi: Ritual dance of the royal drum
The ritual dance of the royal drum combines powerful, synchronized drumming with dancing, heroic poetry and traditional songs. The dance includes at least a dozen drums, always in an odd number, arranged around a central drum in a semicircle.
- Malawi: Tchopa, sacrificial dance of the Lhomwe people of southern Malawi
Tchopa is practised among Lhomwe communities in southern Malawi. The dance is usually performed during celebrations after good harvests and successful hunting trips and during offerings to ancestral spirits after calamities such as droughts and outbreaks of disease.
- Mauritius: Traditional Mauritian Sega
Traditional Mauritian Sega is a performing art emblematic of the Creole community. Each solo singer improvises lyrics, while a frame drum, box rattle and triangle keep time and produce the rhythmic beat.