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JAMAICA | Reggae Music gets UNESCO protected status

Featured Bob Marley, one of the artistes who made Reggae music famous, performing live on stage at the Brighton Leisure Centre earlier in 1980. Bob Marley, one of the artistes who made Reggae music famous, performing live on stage at the Brighton Leisure Centre earlier in 1980.
Reggae music, the genre that emerged from Jamaica and evolved in the 1960s, has been added to the list of global cultural treasures by UNESCO, the United Nation's cultural and scientific agency, and is deemed worthy of protection and promotion.

UNESCO, the world body's cultural and scientific agency, on Thursday added the genre that originated in Jamaica to its collection of "intangible cultural heritage"

Reggae music's "contribution to international discourse on issues of injustice, resistance, love and humanity underscores the dynamics of the element as being at once cerebral, socio-political, sensual and spiritual," UNESCO said.

"While in its embryonic state Reggae music was the voice of the marginalised, the music is now played and embraced by a wide cross-section of society, including various genders, ethnic and religious groups,” the UNESCO statement noted.

The musical style joined a list of cultural traditions that includes the horsemanship of the Spanish Riding School in Vienna, a Mongolian camel-coaxing ritual and Czech puppetry, as well as more than 300 other traditional practices spanning from boat-building and pilgrimages to cooking and dance.

Jamaica applied for reggae's inclusion on the list this year at a meeting of the UN agency on the island of Mauritius, where 40 proposals were under consideration.

The announcement came at UNESCO's meeting in Mauritius, where 40 proposals were under consideration -- including Jamaica's inclusion of reggae, AFP reports.
Around the the 1960s, Reggae became popular in Britain and the United States -- countries where many Jamaican immigrants had moved to after World War II.
Its bass heavy and drum sound has inspired the dancehall and dub genre; as well as influence a number of artists.
 
Reggae artist Sister Nancy's "Bam Bam" has been heavily sampled by the likes of Lauryn Hill and Kanye West.
 
Reggae is also associated with the religion Rastafarianism. Reggae music often celebrates Jah, which means god, ganga (marijuana) and Ras Tafari -- the former Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie who is deified in the religion.
 
Five other traditions were also added to the cultural heritage list, including Chidaoba (wrestling) from Georgia and the Irish sport of hurling, the body said in a press release.
 
Their inclusion to the largely symbolic heritage list is believed to help raise the profile of the country and practice.

"Reggae is uniquely Jamaican," said Culture Minister Olivia Grange before the vote.

"It is a music that we have created that has penetrated all corners of the world."

Last modified onThursday, 29 November 2018 21:44
  • Countries: Jamaica

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