The Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, meeting in Mauritius until 1 December, inscribed reggae on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
The Representative List seeks to enhance visibility for the traditions and know-how of communities without recognizing standards of excellence or exclusivity.
Originating within the cultural space of marginalized groups, mainly in Western Kingston, the Reggae Music of Jamaica combines musical influences from earlier Jamaican forms as well as Caribbean, North American and Latin strains. Its basic functions as a vehicle of social commentary, as a cathartic experience, and means of praising God remain unchanged, and the music continues to provide a voice for all.
Students are taught how to play it from an early age, and festivals and concerts are central to ensuring its viability.
headline photo: Ky-Mani Marley in performance at the One Love Reggae concert celebrating legend and father Bob Marley – Photo by Steve James, © Semiyah Photography, 2016