10 Jul 2017

St Maarten Moves in to High Gear with Phase Two of its Intangible Cultural Heritage Field Inventorying Exercise


©Sint Maarten National Commission for UNESCO

During the months of March and April 2017, the Sint Maarten National Commission for UNESCO executed another intangible cultural heritage (ICH) field inventorying exercise targeting its high school students.

 The objectives of the activity, which was coordinated by the St. Maarten National Commission for UNESCO with the assistance of the Co-directors of the National Institute of the Arts, were to develop the knowledge and understanding of cultural heritage – intangible and tangible, and expose these young persons to the heritage of St. Maarten, in order to help stimulate a sense of pride in the island’s heritage, encourage its documentation and safeguarding, and transmission to others. Students obtained theoretical and practical training in conducting an interview while using the various equipment available for documenting heritage.

During the field exercise, students got the opportunity to interview, video record, and participate in the knowledge sharing demonstrations, where they were able to learn from practitioners and knowledge bearers how to make a variety of traditional local drinks and desserts.

The field inventory exercise was deemed highly successful and the Sint Maarten National Commission for UNESCO looks forward to repeating this activity with even more high school students at different schools in the coming school year.  Under Phase I of the ICH Capacity-building project in Suriname and the Dutch Caribbean Islands, St. Maarten conducted a field inventorying exercise on the Ponum Dance.

 This activity was funded under Phase II (February to June 2017) of the ICH Capacity-building project ‘Strengthening the Capacities of Suriname and Dutch Caribbean Islands to Implement the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage,’ currently being implemented in the Dutch Caribbean islands and Suriname by the UNESCO Kingston Cluster Office for the Caribbean in coordination with UNESCO Headquarters and partners in the various territories.

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 Please contact the Culture Sector of the UNESCO Kingston Cluster Office for the Caribbean at kingston(at)unesco.org  for additional information