CRIA - Centro em Rede Investigaçao em Antropologia


Contact: 351 210 464 057
Postal address: Av. Forças Armadas s/n Edifício ISCTE-IUL, Sala 2W2 1649-026 Lisboa
Geographic Coverage of NGO’s expertise: Angola, Brazil, Canada, Chile, France, India, Mauritania, Morocco, Mozambique, Portugal, Senegal, Spain, Timor-Leste


Year of creation: 2008

Safeguarding measures:

- identification, documentation, research (including inventory-making)
- preservation, protection
- promotion, enhancement
- transmission, (non-)formal education
- revitalization

Main areas of work related to the Convention:

The competence and expertise of CRIA researchers in the field of intangible cultural heritage come from their academic background as anthropologists and from the intense ethnographic activity that is inherent to their research. The scope of their research encompasses rural and urban settings. As a result of their lengthy presence in the field, they come to gain a deep cultural intimacy with the communities and groups they study and whose life they share. They are therefore often seen by these as valid contributors and partners in actions aimed at the safeguarding of local cultural heritage. In order to be a full member of CRIA, an investigator must hold a PhD. Students can be associate members. The members listed below have recently worked on themes that are relevant for the promotion and protection of intangible cultural heritage: -- Conceptions of, and interaction with “nature”: Amélia Frazão, Cláudia Sousa, João Galhano. -- Craftmanship: João Leal, Jean-Yves Durand, Vera Alves, Denise Esteves, Clara Saraiva. -- Cognition, scientific/lay knowledge: Amélia Frazão, Jean-Yves Durand, Maria Manuel Quintela, Manuela Ivone Cunha. -- Culinary practices and traditional gastronomy: João Alpuim, Amélia Frazão. -- Ethnobotany: Jean-Yves Durand, Amélia Frazão. -- Ethnomusicology: Miguel Moniz (in migration contexts). -- Festive events: João Leal, Miguel Vale de Almeida, Paulo Raposo, Luís Silva. -- Life histories, social memory: Ana Lavado, Elsa Lechner (mostly among migrants), Humberto Martins, Luís Cunha, Antónia Lima, Emília Marques, Francisco Oneto Nunes, Inês Fonseca, Filipe Reis, Brian O’Neill. -- Literature and oral literature: Margarida Fernandes, Filipe Reis. -- Ludic activities, traditional games: Ana Lavado. -- Maritime cultures: Francisco Oneto Nunes, Christine Escallier, João Alpuim. -- Museum projects, ethnographic exhibitions: Jean-Yves Durand, Clara Saraiva, Nuno Porto, João Alpuim, Anthony Shelton. -- Performing arts (popular theater, dance, audio-visual media, historical re-enactments): Luís Silva, Maria José Fazenda, Teresa Fradique, Paulo Raposo, Sófia Sampaio. -- Popular art: João Alpuim, Vera Alves, Sónia Vespeira de Almeida. -- Rituals: João Leal, Clara Saraiva, Miguel Vale de Almeida, Paulo Raposo. -- Rural/urban popular culture: Paulo Raposo, Sónia Vespeira de Almeida, Teresa Fradique, Vera Alves, António Medeiros. -- Social uses of Space and landscape: Sandra Xavier, Jean-Yves Durand, Luís Cunha, Rosa Maria Perez, Filomena Silvano. -- Therapeutic practices, healing: Clara Saraiva, Jean-Yves Durand, Maria Manuel Qunitela. -- Traditional costume: João Alpuim, António Medeiros. -- Traditional techniques, social uses of technology: Christine Escallier, Jean-Yves Durand, Emília Marques, Francisco Oneto Nunes, Jorge de Freitas Branco. -- Vernacular architecture: Jean-Yves Durand, João Alpuim, Clara Saraiva. Many CRIA researchers conceive of their research as visual anthropology (among whom chiefly Catarina Alves Costa, an internationally renowned documentary film-maker). CRIA members also necessarily carry out an epistemological and methodological reflection in such fields as museum studies, tourism, conservation, heritage: Maria Cardeira da Silva, Anthony Shelton, Nuno Additional information: The competence and expertise of CRIA's researchers in the field of ICH come from their academie background as anthropologists and from the intense ethnographic activity inherent to their research, carried out both in rural and urban settings, in Portugal and abroad. As a result of their lengthy presence in the field, anthropologists come to gain a deep cultural intimacy with the communities and groups they study and whose Iife they share. Therefore, they are often seen by the latter as valid contributors and partners in actions aimed at the safeguard of local cultural heritage. Our researchers have worked on themes that are relevant for the promotion and protection of ICH and their work stimulated processes that contributed to actions regarding the safeguard and revitalization of cultural heritage by the communities involved. Some examples: Amélia Frazäo-Moreira worked c10sely with the Polytechnic Institute in Bragança, Fragua Association and "Ecomuseu de Picote-Miranda do Douro" on the joint development of dissemination and training activities in the management and conservation of local plants genetic resources, particularly for the collection and retention of knowledge and specimens in the area of Parque Natural do Douro Internacional. Paulo Raposo conducted a funded research project on the processes of folk culture objectification in Portugal which has led to a privileged relationship with local communities and cultural organizations in Northern Portugal, resulting in his being requested to provide information and support to the conception and establishment of an on-site local museum in Podence. Jean-Yves Durand is involved in an international network (France, Italy, Spain, Canada, Mexico) dedicated to the investigation and promotion of handierafts and was recently appointed Director of the Museu da Terra de Miranda (Portugal), where he has launched a study of homing-pigeons races, a controversial local tradition. Joäo Leal led a funded comparative research on the processes of transnationalization of Azorean cultural elements in Brazil and the USA. As a result of this project, the anthropologist was invited to work as a consultant (2001-2005) for the Mapping of Azorean-Based Culture, promoted by a research center in Santa Catarina, Brazil, an initiative involving thousands of activists representing the communities of Azorean-based culture in that state. Leal is currently (sinee 2005) a member of the Scientific Board of the Azorean Communities Portal, which aims at spreading the Azorean culture along the diaspora. He is also a member (sinee 2008) of the network of activists and academies who have been organizing the International Congresses on the Holy Spirit (2008, 3rd edition). Emllia Margarida Marques has worked for the township of Marinha Grande (Portugal) creating an archive and documentation database (1996-1997) now available at the local public historical archive - also created in part as a result of the project. Work included the inventory and organization of local archive documentation (in parish councils, associations, and schools); providing support to schools and teachers on matters of local history; talks/lectures on the local history by invitation of the local institutions (municipality, schools) and organizations (social clubs, glass workers' union). The anthropologist was further invited by the municipality to conduct two studies on the local glass industry, published during the commemorations of its 250th anniversary. Cláudia Sousa and Amélia Frazäo Moreira have been studying the chimpanzee distribution and relation with local human communities in the coastal area of GuineaBissau. This project is intended to provide a better understanding of the relationship between a) local human populations, b) other animais, namely chimpanzees, c) the forests surrounding these African villages. It contributes to the development of a national strategy for the preservation of the species, taking into account the needs of the local human population. Studies about the cultural perceptions of animals in general and chimpanzees in particular were undertaken by the researchers. The results have been incorporated in the discourse of tourism guidebooks, thus encouraging its conservation. Claudia Sousa collaborated in the training of rangers of IBAP (Institute for Biodiversity and Protected Areas, Guinea-Bissau) and eco-guides (tour guides in a project of the NGO AD - Action for Development), on issues related to the behavior and ecology of primate species in the country, the techniques used for monitoring these species and special care that people should have when they move into the forest.


The primary objective of CRIA is to promote the advancement of Portuguese anthropology and its internationalization through the development of theoretical and applied research projects, the promotion of events encouraging scientific debate and the diffusion of research (congresses, seminars and conferences), the edition of scientific publications (promoting the national and international diffusion of research project results), the organization of courses and connected activities of postgraduate teaching level, the encouragement of international network-based collaboration in research projects or groups, as well as in other international collaborations that promote scientific diffusion, the establishment and reinforcement of cooperative relationships with similar institutions, both national and international, the reception of undergraduate students, graduate students and PhDs, helping with their integration in the scientific community. CRIA’s general objectives are framed by four main thematic research lines: 1.“Social Identities and Differentiation”; 2.“Culture: Practices, Politics, Displays“; 3.“Migrations, Ethnicity, Citizenship”; 4.“Power, Knowledges, Mediations”. Although safeguarding intangible cultural heritage is not CRIA's primary objective, a majority of its researchers (working mostly, but not only, within two thematic lines: "Culture: Practices, Politics, Displays" and "Power, Knowledge, Mediations") deal directly or indirectly with this issue. They explore it from a theoretical and analytical standpoint, and they resort to it as a framework for applied research and for intervention on the field. Constantly tackling such concepts as “culture”, “knowledge”, “identities”, “ethnicity” or “differentiation”, CRIA’s members study very diverse social and cultural contexts. Their ethnographic activity provides the empirical basis and the cultural knowledge that are necessary for an objective assessment of the relevance, interest, urgency, viability and sustainability of safeguarding initiatives. Additional information: CRIA contributes in direct and indirect ways to safeguard Intangible Cultural Heritage (lCH) through the activities of its researchers, namely through: Theoretical and reflexive examinations of the notion of ICH, thus contributing to its conceptual understanding and elucidation. This is especially the case in activities Iinked to CRIA's main research lines: Culture: Practices, Polities, Displays" and "Power, Knowiedge, Mediations". The organization of conferences and public lectures which allow for the diffusion of this knowledge to society in general and particularly to cultural agents and mediators. Some examples: Maria Cardeira da Silva, 2008: Cultura fora - Conversa sobre a candidatura do FADO a património da Humanidade. With Pedro Félix (INET-FCSH) Jean-Yves Durand, 2003: conference "Ethnographic Heritage, museums and development", CEAS (CRIA)/NEA, Vila Verde Township, Universidade do Minho. Consuiting activities requested by organizations and institutions dedicated to the survey, study and promotion of ICH. Some examples: Cláudia Sousa contribution to GRASP, Great Apes Survival Partnership, project of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to lift the threat of imminent extinction faced by gorillas (Gorilla beringei, Gorilla gorilla), chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes), bonobos (Pan paniscus) and orangutans (Pongo abelii, Pongo pygmaeus) across their ranges in equatorial Africa and south-east Asia; Joäo Pedro Galhano, participation at "Projet de sauvegarde de la chasse à I'arc traditionnelle des Gourmantché." ONG BAIL (Niamey), Ministère de l'Environnement (Niger) et, possiblement, UNESCO. The establishment of co-operation protocols and the joint organization of initiatives with the nationallnstitute for Museums and Preservation (IMC): Clara Saraiva, Museu da Luz, May 2008, joint conference with IMC, "Museus e Património Imaterial, agentes, fronteiras, identidades. Memória, Identidade, Projecto"; Maria Cardeira da Silva, 2008: Portuguese Fields: What do Anthropologists do? Museums and Intangible Heritage (Conference), CRIAlIMC/Ministério da Cultura. The direct involvement of researchers and academies with local, national and international institutions developing projects aiming at the safeguard of Portuguese ICH, both in national territory and in different parts of the world: Clara Saraiva, 2008: Conference IDEMEC-CRIA "Rituels d'hiver avec masques. Réinvention culturelIe et performance: un cas portugais", IDEMEC, Maison Méditerranéenne des Sciences de I'Homme, Université d'Aix-en-Provence.


Conceived and funded (generally by Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia), as academic research, many projects and events promoted by CRIA (or the research centers that preceded it) meet the needs and expectations of local groups and grassroots organizations. Research: (title; coordinator; funding; date) -- Portuguese Castles aboard II. Heritage, Tourism and Portuguese cultural cooperation in African contexts; Maria Cardeira da Silva; FCT; 2006. --“Lenços de namorados”: study and certification of traditional embroideries from Northern Portugal; Jean-Yves Durand; CCDRN; 2005-2006. -- Ethnobotany of Northeastern Portugal: local knowledge, plants and uses; Amélia Frazão; FCT; 2004. -- Aldeia da Luz: ethnography and museography of a drowned village; Clara Saraiva; EDIA; 2005. -- Modernization and change in Portuguese hydrotherapy; Cristiana Bastos; FCT; 2002. -- Colonial Logics. Space and Society in Goa; Rosa Maria Perez; FCT; 2001. -- (Re) Encountering the Past: An Anthropological Study of the East Timorese Community; Brian O’Neill; FCT; 2001. -- USA and Brazil: Processes of Transnationalization of "Açorianidade"; João Leal; FCT; 1999/2000. -- Objectification Processes of Popular Culture: two complementary approaches; João Leal; FCT; 1998. Scientific Meetings/events 2009: -- CRIA was official partner of the ONG Memoria Media for the International Day of Life Histories, -- D. Afonso®: contemporary appropriations of a national hero (ethnographic and iconographic exhibition); Jean-Yves Durand; Guimarães City Council. 2008: -- Portuguese Fields: What do Anthropologists do? Museums and Intangible Heritage (Conferences), CRIA/IMC/Ministério da Cultura. -- Cultura fora – Talking about Laws, Institutions and Intangible Heritage, CRIA & IMC. -- Rituels d'hiver avec masques. Réinvention culturelle et performance: un cas portugais, CRIA/IDEMEC, Aix-en-Provence. -- 7th Séminaire d'Ethnobotanique Européenne, CRIA/Musée Ethnologique de Salagon. -- Animal Fights: History and Ethnography of a “tradition”, anthropology of the constitution of the “intolerable”, CRIA/Ecomuseu do Barroso. 2004: -- Life Histories: New theoretical and methodological challenges, CEAS. -- The Politics of Folk Culture: Reflections from the Lusophone World; CEAS/UMass Dartmouth (USA); proceedings: Etnográfica (9)1: 2003: -- Anthropology, Art and Museums; CIA/University of British Columbia, U.Lisbon/Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian. -- Ethnographic Heritage, museums and development; CEAS/NEA, Vila Verde Township, Universidade do Minho. Additional information: CRIA's anthropologists partake in projects always implying close and intense relationships with communities and groups based on mutual respect: deontology of ethnography-making requires in all cases the researchers' respect for the individuals, groups and institutions they work with. Examples of co-operation contributing to ICH's safeguard: Jean-Yves Durand led a multidisciplinary research on lenços de namorados (a form of embroidery) involving different townships, organizations of embroiderers, national agencies for the promotion of crafts. Results were published and allowed for the definition of norms of certification, as forgeries of this product had started to be imported, jeopardizing the income of hundreds of women who had gained social autonomy thanks to their work. Risks of fossilization and reification of the product were avoided by introducing a specific certification category for "Innovations". Durand also co-organized, with alocal ecomuseum, an international conference on "Animal fights". The controversial tradition of bull-baiting (and, on alesser scale, of cockfighting) is strong in a small region of Northern Portugal. lts practitioners now reformulate it as "Iocal heritage" and clash with animal rights activists. Observing the dynamics of this controversy, the anthropologist can act as a go-between. Appointed Director of a local museum, Durand launched a study on homing-pigeons races which raise similar issues. Clara Saraiva coordinated a multidisciplinary team working in Aldeia da Luz, a rural community in Portugal forced to abandon their old village to relocate when a government-sponsored dam was built which would leave their homes underwater. Fieldwork with the population was done to create an ethnographic record of the community before relocation and to document their resettiement not far away. Results were used to form the local museum, generating a living memory of the village and its recreation. Joäo Leal studies cultural and festive practices of Azorean migrants in North America, participating personally in transnational networks of cultural and intellectual agents. Leal's observation and reflection about the transformation undergone by these cultural practices when they shift from the original context to migratory ones, and the impact of that transformation back on the Islands, is relevant to the documentation and registry of this process.