Community-based inventorying and transmission of intangible cultural heritage in the island of Tongatapu in Tonga

  • Financial assistance:
    • US$ 85,913 granted in 2018
  • Dates of implementation:
    • 22/03/2019 - 09/11/2022
  • Documents:

Benefitting country(ies): Tonga


The proposed project, was implemented by the Culture Division of the Ministry of Tourism in partnership with community representatives and associations, focuses on community-based inventorying and the transmission of intangible cultural heritage in the island of Tongatapu in Tonga. Numerous elements of Tongan living heritage are currently under threat, for reasons that include rapid changes in Tongan society due to migration away from rural areas and out of the country, external cultural influences, and the adverse effect of development projects over the past decade. The Tongan government had made concerted efforts to safeguard intangible cultural heritage, and it is in this context that the Culture Division seeks complementary funding. The proposed project aims to strengthen capacities in community-based inventorying by raising the awareness and capacities of communities and creating a corps of researchers to assist the communities through field research in Tongatapu. The information collected was fed into the national inventory and information systems to be hosted at the Tonga Culture Centre in Tongatapu. To this end, the project included a one-week capacity-building workshop, community-based inventorying and field research, the establishment of the national inventory and information systems, and support for the transmission of intangible cultural heritage elements in need of urgent safeguarding.

News and activities:

05/05/2021 - 15/11/2022 – Developing and testing intangible cultural heritage (ICH) curriculum materials for primary schools teacher training colleges in Zimbabwe20/02/2020 - 30/10/2022 – Community based Inventory of ICH in Albania with a view to safeguarding and transmitting to future generations