Decision of the Intergovernmental Committee: 9.COM 10.28

The Committee

  1. Takes note that Mauritius has nominated Traditional Mauritian Sega (No. 01003) for inscription on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity:

Traditional Mauritian Sega Tipik is a vibrant performing art, emblematic of the Creole community and performed at informal private family events or in public spaces. Songs sung in a minor key gradually increase in tempo, as dancers move their hips and hands to a percussive beat, using short steps to manoeuvre around each other in a variety of different formations. Each soloist improvises lyrics in the Creole language, sometimes blended with other languages, while a frame drum, box rattle and triangle keep time and produce the rhythmic beat. Sega songs can talk of love or address everyday challenges and concerns, with the meaning often enacted through the choreography. Traditionally, women dancers wear long skirts and petticoats while men wear rolled-up trousers, colourful shirts and straw hats, in memory of the dress of their ancestors. The main practitioners are the singers, dancers and musicians, who transmit their skills both formally and informally through participation and imitation. Some practitioners also make the instruments, and transmit their skills through informal apprenticeship. Representing the multiculturalism of Mauritian society, Sega breaks down cultural and class barriers, creates opportunities for intercultural encounters, and unifies various groups around a shared Mauritian heritage.

  1. Decides that, from the information included in the file, the nomination satisfies the following criteria for inscription on the Representative List:

R.1:   Born within the Creole community, Sega Tipik is a musical and dance expression that serves as a symbol of Mauritian identity and promotes social inclusion and multiculturalism;

R.2:   Inscription of Mauritian Sega on the Representative List could enhance visibility of the intangible cultural heritage and promote inter-cultural dialogue among the multi-ethnic population of Mauritius, as well as other communities internationally by highlighting a tradition created out of the adversity of slavery;

R.3:   Safeguarding measures proposed by practitioners and other stakeholders include documentation of the components of Sega, data collection and promotional and awareness-raising activities involving bearers and communities;

R.4:   Performers, singers, dancers, musicians, instrument makers and organizations representing the community members of traditional Sega have been actively involved in the nomination process, and their free, prior and informed consent is demonstrated through audiovisual and written evidence;

R.5:   The element is included in the National Inventory of Intangible Cultural Heritage of the Republic of Mauritius, maintained and regularly updated by the National Heritage Fund in collaboration with the University of Mauritius and communities.

  1. Inscribes Traditional Mauritian Sega on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.