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Jamaican Reggae Inscribed To UNESCO's Intangible Cultural Heritage List
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, UNESCO, has deemed Jamaican reggae music an important contribution to history and society, inscribing it on its Intangible Cultural Heritage Of Humanity List.
— UNESCO (@UNESCO) November 29, 2018
Reggae was born during the 1960s as a music that carried the voice of the oppressed in Jamaica, with its musical influences including both Caribbean and American genres. Some of the most known voices of the genre include Marcia Griffiths, Bob Marley and Gregory Isaacs.
Rolling Stone reports that reggae joins several other regional music traditions on the list, including Dominican merengue, Slovakian bagpipe music and Vietnamese xoan singing. New items are submitted and can be added to the list every year.
UNESCO, aims to create "peace through international cooperation in Education, the Sciences and Culture," and defines intangible cultural heritage as "living expressions" such as performing arts, social practices, festive events that have been passed down from ancestors to their descendants. The organization describes an intangible cultural heritage as traditional, contemporary and living at the same time, inclusive, representative and community-based.
"While fragile, intangible cultural heritage is an important factor in maintaining cultural diversity in the face of growing globalization," UNESCO says on their site. "An understanding of the intangible cultural heritage of different communities helps with intercultural dialogue, and encourages mutual respect for other ways of life."
UNESCO may be more widely known for its World Heritage List, which identifies landmarks or areas all of over the world that are protected by international treaties for carrying scientific or another form of importance, yet the Intangible Cultural Heritage List is significant in its own right. The significance of intangible culture, the organization says, is the abundance of knowledge and skill that can be passed down. The Recording Academy has recognized reggae artists throughout the years, including through the category of Best Reggae Album at the annual GRAMMY Awards.
Who will be Best Reggae Album nominee at the 61st GRAMMY Awards? You'll have to stay tuned to find out when the GRAMMY nominee list goes live on Dec. 5, but for now you can learn about what it takes to earn a nomination for Best Reggae Album and more with What To Expect When You're Expecting The 2019 GRAMMY Nominations Announcement.