Kenyan Isikuti dance gets UNESCO nod

November 12, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 12 – Western Kenya’s popular Isukuti dance has been nominated as one of the best cultural heritages in the world in the UNESCO list of Intangible Heritage.

In addition, Kenya will get a grant of Sh9 million to improve the rich heritage of Kayas at the Coast. The Kayas are in the list of UNESCO Safeguarding List.

The Enkipaata, Eunoto and Orngesherr, (Maasai rituals) have also been identified as part of the country’s mark of cultural identity.

According to Heritage and Culture Permanent Secretary Jacob ole Miaron it is important for Kenya to safeguard and promote its cultural identity.

He said Kenya should ensure they are not destroyed, let to detororiate or disappear and singled out the sacred Kaya forest which he said was experiencing destruction proliferated by farming and settlement.

The Isukuti dance is common in celebrations and is a landmark of the Luhya community in Kenya.

Meanwhile, Kenya will on Monday host the fifth session of the Intergovernmental Meeting on Intangible Cultural Heritage at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre.

Kenya ratified the 2003 UNESCO Convention in October 2007.

The Convention was adopted in 2003 and ratified by 132 States. It recommends the protection of elements such as oral traditions and expressions including traditional handicrafts.

It also safeguards performance of arts, social practices, rituals, festive events as well as knowledge, practices concerning nature and the universe.

It is considered that they constitute a living heritage, which, when transmitted from generation to generation, give communities and groups a feeling of identity and continuity.

Giving identity and continuity are considered essential for the respect of cultural diversity and human creativity.


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