KINGSTON, July 9, 2019 - Jamaica's iconic musical artform called Reggae, has been added to a list of international cultural treasures which the United Nations has deemed worthy of protecting and promoting.
The music, which grew out of Jamaica in the 1960s thanks to artistes like Toots and the Maytals, Peter Tosh and Bob Marley, was added to the collection due to its "intangible cultural heritage."
The Jamaican music artform followed on from the ska and rocksteady genres and had numerous other early pioneers which included Lee Scratch Perry and Prince Buster.UNESCO, the world body's cultural and scientific agency, says Reggae is cerebral, socio-political, sensual and spiritual, and has penetrated all corners of the world.
In a statement, UNESCO noted that while reggae started out as the voice of the marginalised, it was now played and embraced by a wide cross-section of the society, including various ethnic and religious groups.
Culture Minister Olivia 'Babsy' Grange reacted to UNESCO's decision, noting that the inscription "will invariably bring even more visibility to the representative list of the intangible cultural heritage of humanity and the intangible cultural heritage as a whole."
Ms Grange added that communities in St. Andrew are to benefit from UNESCO's inscription as Waterhouse and Trench Town will be part of the body's heritage and creativity for sustainable cities, community-based inventories project.
Jamaica applied for reggae's inclusion on the list this year at a meeting of the UN agency in Mauritius, where 40 proposals were under consideration.
Reggae was competing for inclusion alongside Bahamian strawcraft, South Korean wrestling, Irish hurling and perfume making in the southern French city of Grasse.
- Countries: Jamaica