Safeguarding indigenous vernacular architecture and building knowledge in Vanuatu

  • Financial assistance:
    • US$ 23,908 granted in 2015
  • Dates of implementation:
    • 10/08/2015 - 15/12/2015
  • Documents:

Benefitting country(ies): Vanuatu


This project seeks to document the pre- and post- cyclone condition of 6 significant traditional nakamals, the traditional meeting places in Vanuatu. These structures have recently been damaged by Cyclone Pam, a category 5 system that crossed the region on the 13 March 2015. The documentation will include both the tangible and intangible aspects of each nakamal, which will be represented through a written and visual medium. The main objective of the project will be to compile a set of best safeguarding practices that will encourage the revitalisation of building skills related to the indigenous architecture in the region, in order to ensure the continuing existence of these structures; as a result, a set of best safeguarding practices will be provided to be implemented at the village level by the communities themselves, at the national level by the Vanuatu Government and at the international level through UNESCO. The project will have four main lines of action: a desk research of tangible and intangible aspects of each nakamal, a damage assessment to document their current structural condition, an assessment of the risk of loss of the intangible cultural heritage aspects of each structure including the knowledge and skills that are required for building the nakamal that is retained within each community, and a final report listing the best safeguarding measures for each of the 6 nakamals.

News and activities:

17/04/2015 - 31/12/2015 – Improving the capacities of intangible cultural heritage related NGOs in Mongolia01/02/2014 - 01/12/2015 – Safeguarding intangible cultural heritage of Kallawaya communities