Dancing couples from each band dressed in traditional farming style, Majagua, Cuba
© Gilda Betancourt Roa
26 February 2013

The rural festivities of the Red and Blue Bands in the small city of Majagua, in the very centre of Cuba, are known throughout the island as an enduring social institution that brings residents from different generations into one or the other camp for friendly rivalry and competitions. Five of these community members, experts from four provinces and two representatives of the National Commission for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage will work together beginning 28 February to identify and define the various components of the festivities.

It is the first field activity of a UNESCO capacity-building project, made possible with the generous support of Norway through the Intangible Cultural Heritage Fund. In Argentina, the tango community in Buenos Aires will undertake a similar exercise in the coming months, after a workshop on drawing up inventories of intangible cultural heritage starting on 25 February in Buenos Aires. With the support of UNESCO/Japan Funds-in-Trust, representatives from civil society as well as from cultural institutions both at the federal and provincial level are receiving intensive training in inventories of intangible cultural heritage in which bearers play a key role.