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Gnawa art declared Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO

Written by FDM

This is good news and international recognition for the centuries-old art of Gnawa. Indeed, on December 12, 2019, the culture of Gnawa made its official entry on the UNESCO’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

The first request for the inscription of this heritage on UNESCO’s list was introduced in 2009. It took 10 years of perseverance, advocacy and conviction to federate, argue and convince.

For the past 20 years, the Gnawa has been able to gain international recognition and appreciation, in particular, thanks to the Gnawa and World Music Festival organized in Essaouira for 23 years under the High Patronage of His Majesty King Mohammed VI.

This inscription will strengthen the work carried out to date, in order to adopt the necessary mechanisms to preserve this heritage and allow its transmission throughout different generations.

In light of this great news, a delegation of Gnawa artists made the trip to the Colombian capital. Led by Maâlem Abdessalam Alikane, president of the Yerma Gnoaua association and artistic director of the Gnawa and World Music Festival of Essaouira.

The art of Gnawa is thus added to six other elements of Moroccan heritage already inscribed on the representative list of the intangible cultural heritage of humanity, namely: “The cultural space of Jemaa el-Fna square”, “The Moussem of Tan -Tan “,” The Mediterranean diet “,” Falconry “,” The cherry festival of Sefrou “,” Practices and skills related to the argan tree” and “The Taskiwin dance”.

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