Morna, a musical genre from Cape Verde was added this week to UNESCO’S Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
Morna is a traditional style that incorporates vocals, music, poetry and dance. Morna can be either sung or played only with instruments, primarily string instruments such as the guitar, violin, and cavaquinho.
The lyric poetry can be improvised, with topics including love, departure, separation, reunion, longing and the motherland. It is currently mainly performed in Cape Verdean Creole.
Practitioners include instrumentalists, singers, poets and composers, and morna is performed at significant life events such as weddings, christenings, and family reunions.
The most famous morna singer for many years was the late Cesaria Evora.