GIS - 11 December, 2019: Mauritius marks another milestone as the ‘Sega tambour’ of Chagos Archipelago is inscribed on the UNESCO’s List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding after the inscription of ‘Sega Tipik’ and ‘Geet Gawai’ of Mauritius, and ‘Sega Tambour’ of Rodrigues.
The inscription was endorsed at the 14th Session of the UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage which is being currently held in the capital of Columbia, Bogota, till the 14th of December 2019.
The Committee, made up of the representatives of 24 States Parties to the UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, meets once a year. It ensures the implementation of this legal instrument, to take stock on how to best safeguard living heritage in emergency situations and reflects on how to improve the participation of non-governmental organisations in the implementation of the Convention.
Sega tambour Chagos is one of the types of Sega music of Mauritius, with origins in the Chagos Archipelago. Like other Sega music, it is born from slavery and sung in Chagossian Creole particular to the islands. It is a gentle, vibrant and rhythmic performance of music, song and dance based on the ‘tambour’ – a large, circular instrument that is heated and then played to produce throbbing beats which provides the basic rhythm. The lyrics consist of everyday experiences, often composed spontaneously, including narrations of sadness, happiness and rebellion.
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