Revivalism Submitted for UNESCO Inscription

Revivalism, a religious practice in Jamaica, has been submitted to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) for inscription on its Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

The announcement was made by Culture Minister Olivia Grange.

“Since the Inscription of Reggae in 2018, I instructed my technical committee that going forward, Jamaica should submit one or more of its cultural practices for inscription by UNESCO. Everyone would remember the worldwide celebrations after reggae was inscribed at the meeting in Mauritius. We are hoping for the same result with our file on revivalism,” Grange said.

Inscription is a much sought after designation and States Parties to the 2003 UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage need to demonstrate that they have put in place strategies to document and store their cultural elements. State Parties also need to ensure that safeguarding initiatives are undertaken with the full and prior consent of communities associated with the cultural practices.

Notable inscriptions include rumba in Cuba and India’s yoga.

“Jamaica’s dossier on revivalism is currently under review for an announcement in 2021 at the 16th Session of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage.

“I am encouraging Jamaicans at home and in the Diaspora to learn more about the process,” said Grange, a protégé of late former Prime Minister, Edward Seaga, whose extensive research in the area of revivalism and Afro-Jamaican traditional religious forms is well known.

Grange has invited members of the public and members of the revivalism community to view a 10-minute video and high-quality photographs of revivalism online .

“I believe this is also a good resource for students doing their SBA’s, as well as theologians, and is a useful way to create more awareness of revivalism,” she said.

The announcement comes ahead of the virtual staging of the 15th Session of the Inter-governmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity from December 14 to 19, 2020. 

Grange has the distinction of being only the fourth woman to be selected to chair the Inter-governmental Committee which first met in November 2006.



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