Thursday, October 11, 2012

UNESCO and San Ignacio de Moxos

UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, will hold a meeting in Paris this December. Included on the agenda is the consideration of thirty-six nomination files, each of which supports the petition of an "element" of intangible cultural heritage. The UNESCO list of intangible cultural heritage is truly amazing in its beauty and diversity, drawing from peoples around the world. One of this years files is in support of Ichapekene Piesta, the biggest festival of San Ignacio de Moxos. The festival of San Ignacio is a spectacular display of music and dancing, costumes and artistry that is more than 300 years old. San Ignacio was one of the first places I visited in Bolivia, when I worked with Clark Erickson in 1992. My full disclosure is that I was asked to be on the team of scholars who prepared this file (and I said yes). I very much hope that the intangible heritage of the Ichapekene Piesta is recognized in this international venue.

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