Safeguarding our culture

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OUR INTANGIBLE CULTURAL HERITAGE: Siapo making is a vibrant part of our heritage.

OUR INTANGIBLE CULTURAL HERITAGE: Siapo making is a vibrant part of our heritage.

A workshop on Developing Safeguarding Plans for Intangible Cultural Heritage will open today, Monday 12 September 2016.  This Workshop is organized by the Centre for Samoan Studies at the National University of Samoa in cooperation with the Ministry of Education, Sports and Culture (MESC) and the Ministry of Women, Community and Social Development.

Samoa has a wealth of Intangible Cultural Heritage (I.C.H.), whether it be tattooing, siapo making, canoe building, welcoming ava ceremony, traditional dances and songs.  Samoa’s I.C.H. is basically living heritage, providing a foundation for identity and well-being of community. Over the years, Samoan government actively engaged in the I.C.H. safeguarding through several activities such as the documentation of Samoa’s myth and legends and school festivals.

Since 2010, UNESCO, through UNESCO/Japan Funds-In-Trust, assisted the M.E.S.C. to organise a series of capacity building workshops on the I.C.H. safeguarding. 

Under this 1st phase of this regional programme, Samoan M.E.S.C. organised the workshops on Ratification (February 2012), Implementation (February 2013), and Community-based Inventorying in Gnataivai village (October 2013). These extensive efforts resulted in Samoa’s acceptance of the I.C.H. Convention in November 2013. 

This one-week Workshop is focused on the development of I.C.H. safeguarding plans.  This is an important area for capacity building, as to establish I.C.H. safeguarding measures is one of the obligations of states parties the I.C.H. Convention.

The Workshop participants will learn how to prepare I.C.H. safeguarding plans through step-by-step guidance as well as in “role play” activities. The participants will also develop safeguarding plans for selected Samoan I.C.H. by using the knowledge and skills that they will have obtained through the Workshop.

The Workshop will be facilitated by Noriko Aikawa and Anthony Parak, U.N.E.S.C.O. accredited trainers. Noriko Aikawa has extensive experience in the field of intangible heritage as the founding former Director of the Intangible Heritage Unit of U.N.E.S.C.O., currently Advisor for Intangible Cultural Heritage to the Agency for Cultural Affaires, Government of Japan and Senior International Advisor/Consultant in Intangible Heritage.

Anthony Parak is a conservator and curator for Museum Collections at the JK Mc Carthy Museum in Goroka, Papua New Guinea. He has worked for the P.N.G. National Museum for over 20 years and has been involved in conservation, protection and promotion of cultural heritage of both in situ and ex situ collections.

Recently he has been involved in the safeguarding of intangible aspects of culture and working on the sustainable development aspects of cultural heritage in P.N.G. This workshop is held within the framework of the regional capacity building project funded under U.N.E.S.C.O./Japanese Funds-in-Trust.  

© Samoa Observer 2016

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