Safeguarding female chants in Morocco and inventorying intangible cultural heritage in Cuba

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International Assistance has been granted from the Intangible Cultural Heritage Fund to help bolster crucial intangible cultural heritage (ICH) safeguarding and inventorying efforts in two countries.

Morocco will receive US$70,440 for a project geared at safeguarding the female chants hailing from Taroudant, a city situated in the south-west region of the High Atlas Mountains. Performed by women during social events, these chants not only enliven female gatherings but also capture values that are central to local communities’ identities. With more modern musical forms attracting increasing attention among young women, the practice has begun to dwindle. The Bhayer Dalya Association has already begun work to revitalize the chants; this project aims to support these efforts through awareness-raising, capacity-building and revitalization activities centred on broad community participation. It is hoped that the central role of communities in the project as well as the diversity of partners will produce a multiplying effect among civil society.

To prepare the successful request, the President of the Association drew upon her new knowledge of the Convention following

capacity-building activities undertaken by UNESCO in Morocco since 2013 to help implement the Convention.

Cuba is being supported with a grant of US$65,744.60 for a project aimed at identifying, defining and inventorying ICH in the province of Guantánamo, the country’s easternmost province.

To continue efforts to implement the 2003 Convention, the National Council for Cultural Heritage is launching an ambitious project to help increase awareness of and promote ICH elements in the Guantánamo region. The project will involve a series of activities carried out by the implementing organization together with the Provincial Centre of Houses of Culture. It will kick off with an initial information meeting before proceeding with training in participatory inventory techniques, fieldwork and an awareness-raising campaign in ten municipalities.

Geared at building inventorying capacities, this is a crucial first step in empowering local communities to safeguard their living heritage !

This International Assistance was granted on 24 May 2017 following the decisions of the Bureau of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage.

International assistance: