Reggae music has been selected for cultural preservation by the UN
REGGAE MUSIC, whose chill, lilting grooves found fame thanks to artistes like Bob Marley, wins a spot on UN list of global cultural treasures.
Unesco’s list began in 2008, following an international convention to safeguard intangible cultural heritage.
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Reggae music has been added to a United Nations list of global cultural treasures that should be protected.UNESCO, the UN's cultural agency, said the genre had been added to the list due to its "intangible cultural heritage".
#Reggae music has found its groove on the @UN list of global cultural treasures! #UNESCO added the music genre to its collection of intangible cultural heritage deemed worthy of protection and promotion. ➡
NOBODY CAN STOP REGGAE: Reggae music, whose chill, lilting grooves found fame thanks to artistes like Bob Marley, wins a spot on UN list of global cultural treasures.
It is unique because it represents "a vehicle of social commentary" and "continues to provide a voice for all", the agency said.UNESCO is best known for its World Heritage List of outstanding cultural and natural sites, which include the Grand Canyon, the Great Wall of China and the Old City of Jerusalem.Its Intangible Cultural Heritage List includes hundreds of traditions from around the world and while largely symbolic, inclusion on the list can serve to raise the profile of the country and the practice.UNESCO committees meet annually to evaluate nominations and decide whether or not to inscribe them on the list, which started in 2008.
The UN has added reggae music to its list of international cultural treasures worthy of protection and promotion.
[Reggae Music] speaks out for the underprivileged, it speaks out against social injustice. Reggae music is the original rebels music. ✊🏿 Reggae music to be protected by the UN: #Reggae #PeterTosh #Jamaica #RebelMusic
To mark reggae’s inscription into the representative list of the intangible cultural heritage of humanity, Unesco – the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation – said: “[Reggae’s] contribution to international discourse on issues of injustice, resistance, love and humanity underscores the dynamics of the element as being at once cerebral, sociopolitical, sensual and spiritual.”
Other cultural treasures to make this year's list include traditional hand puppetry in Egypt, bobbin lacemaking in Slovenia, pottery skills in Tunisia, and Ireland's hurling.Reggae was first created by marginalised groups, mainly in the poor neighbourhoods in the western part of Jamaica's capital of Kingston.It grew in popularity around the world thanks to artists such as Toots And The Maytals and Bob Marley in the 1960s and '70s, with Marley going on to become a global star with hits including No Woman No Cry, One Love and Jamming.
“While in its embryonic state Reggae music was the voice of the marginalized, the music is now played and embraced by a wide cross-section of society, including various genders, ethnic and religious groups”, said UNESCO.
BBC Radio 6 Music presenter Don Letts told the Guardian of reggae’s enduring significance: “If you look at a map of the world, Jamaica’s a tiny island that spent hundreds of years under colonial rule.
"Anywhere you go and say you're from Jamaica, they answer 'Bob Marley'.
It comes after Jamaica had campaigned for their national sound to be classified as “intangible cultural heritage,” and receive appropriate protections from UNESCO.
Letts said that reggae “can take care of itself”, but added: “There’s no doubt that Jamaica’s not reaped the financial rewards of its cultural impact, and that’s what the island really needs.
The genre, which originated in 1960s Jamaica, was chosen for selection by UNESCO, the cultural and scientific arm of the UN.
The basic social functions of the music – as a vehicle for social commentary, a cathartic practice, and a means of praising God – have not changed, and the music continues to act as a voice for all.”