- 07 December, 2017:
It is another remarkable achievement for the Republic of Mauritius as the ‘Sega Tambour’ of Rodrigues is inscribed on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. The inscription is the verdict of UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage which met today on Jeju Island, Republic of Korea.
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, which has been ratified by 175 States who have integrated the safeguarding of intangible heritage into their national legislation.
‘Sega Tambour’ of Rodrigues is a vibrant rhythmic performance of music, song and dance with its origins in slave communities. ‘Sega Tambour’ is performed all over Rodrigues in the home and on the streets, at formal and informal functions. The primary bearers are the Rodrigues community, as well as the diaspora on the island of Mauritius and elsewhere, and the art is open to everyone irrespective of age, gender or status.
With its origins in defiance and resilience, ‘Sega Tambour’ facilitates conflict resolution, fosters socialisation and consolidates bonds. Competitions and rehearsals are organised in community centres across Rodrigues, and the element is also performed in tourism facilities, contributing to the generation of revenue for performers. Knowledge and skills relating to the practice are transmitted from elders to youth through imitation and observation, and instrument-making skills are learned through apprenticeship with experienced craftspeople.
The traditional Mauritian sega and the Bhojpuri folks songs were inscribed on the UNESCO Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in November 2014 and December 2016 respectively.
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