UNESCO is considering adding the Marimba music of Colombia’s southern Pacific coast and the legal system of the Wayuu indigenous people to its Intangible Cultural Heritage List..
The marimba, originally an African instrument, is made from chonta, a palm tree found only in the Pacific coast. Traditional Marimba music tells folklore stories from the descendants of slaves in this region.
“The Wayuu culture is bi-national, and does not recognize the border between Colombia and Venezuela. It understands that ancestral territory cannot be divided by borders,” says Juan Luis Isaza Londoño, Heritage director of Colombia’s Ministry of Culture, according to newspaper Vanguardia
UNESCO‘s mission is to understand, protect and respect cultural heritage. On November 15, the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage will meet in Nairobi, Kenya, to decide which new candidates will be placed on the Intangible Cultural Heritage List.
Colombia is currently represented by four items on the heritage list; Pasto’s Carnival of Blacks and Whites (2009), the Holy Week processions in Popayan (2009), the Carnival of Barranquilla (2008), and the cultural area of Palenque de San Basilio (2008).