Reggae Music genre to now be protected by the UN – Music

The United Nations have included the Reggae genre on its list of international cultural treasures that should be promoted and protected so as not to fade away.

The popular genre which developed in the early 60s from the streets of Jamaica inspired by artists like Toots and the Maytals, Peter Tosh and Bob Marley, has recently been added to the UN’s collection of cultural treasures due to its “intangible cultural heritage”.

Announcing the decision, a spokeman of Unesco (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation) said the music’s “contribution to international discourse on issues of injustice, resistance, love and humanity underscores the dynamics of the element as being at once cerebral, socio-political, sensual and spiritual”.


Timaya
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Timaya is one of the most successful reggae artists in the country (Instagram/TimayaTimaya)

 

It added: “The basic social functions of the music – as a vehicle for social commentary, a cathartic practice, and a means of praising God – have not changed, and the music continues to act as a voice for all.”

Reggae followed on from early genres like ska and rocksteady with other early pioneers like Lee Scratch Perry and Prince Buster.

It’s impact soon began to grow across the world as it became more popular in the United States but particularly flourished in the UK, which had become home to many Jamaican immigrants since the end of World War II.

The British reggae label Trojan, which celebrates its 50th birthday this year, introduced the world to artists like Desmond Dekker, Jimmy Cliff, Bob and Marcia.



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Cynthia Morgan [Madrina] is another top Reggae act (Instagram/Madrina)

 

Jamaica had applied for reggae’s inclusion on the list this year at a meeting of the UN agency on the island of Mauritius.

The protected list began in 2008 and grew out of the UN’s convention for the safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage in 2003.

Its aims are to ensure respect for communities, groups and individuals involved in the listed activity, to raise awareness and encourage appreciation of those activities nationally and internationally.

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