The Chopi people of southern Mozambique are famous for their orchestras of up to thirty wooden xylophones of varying sizes and ranges of pitch. Each year, several new pieces are composed and performed at social festivities and other community events in combination with the energetic Timbila dance.
The objectives of the safeguarding project are to:
- enhance the quality and authenticity of the Timbila instruments; strengthen transmission to younger generations;
- ensure access to scientific documentation on the Chopi Timbila;
- create opportunities for performance and exchange for Timbila practitioners;
- enhance legal protections and promote the social and economic interests of Timbila tradition bearers.
The project is expected to strengthen national measures of safeguarding intangible cultural heritage; strengthen safeguarding capacities at local and national levels particularly among the Timbila; contribute to better understanding of the importance of protection of cultural diversity and the need to respond to challenges posed by modernization and globalization; and provide understanding of the need to preserve the natural environment and how its degradation may force changes in the life of communities and the ways they express their culture.