Reggae Listed an International Cultural Treasure by Unesco

Reggae Music Added To The UN List Of International Cultural Treasures

King of Reggae Bob Marley

Reggae has been added to a list of international cultural treasures which the United Nations has deemed worthy of protecting and promoting.

The music was added to the collection due to its “intangible cultural heritage” or, according to UNESCO, is “cerebral, socio-political, sensual and spiritual.”  Reggae music grew out of Jamaica in the 1960’s and penetrated all corners of the world due to the works of Reggae “King” the great Bob Marley.

There is absolutely no denial that stalwarts such as the legendary Peter Tosh (The Wailers), I-Threes, Toots and The Maytals, Jimmy Cliff, Milly Smalls, other great Jamaican Reggae icons past and present too numerous to list, the un-sung Jamaican sound systems operators and musicians who took the music and culture with them and introduced it in their communities across the United Kingdom, Europe and as well as reggae music enthusiasts (artists, radio hosts and djs, promoters etc.) across the world, contributed to this historical achievement.

Minister Babsy Grange at UNESCO

Reggae is uniquely Jamaican and its influence across the world is undeniable” @thejmceffect (Jamaican Music Conference). Jamaica applied for recognition of it’s musical tradition at a meeting of the UN agency in Maritius early 2018, “It is a music that we have created that has penetrated all corners of the world” said Cultural Minister Olivia Babsy Grange. The legendary Bob Marley, in speaking on the music and asked if can be copied by a New Zealand interviewer in 1979 had this to say:-
Interviewer: “Can it be copied successfully outside of Jamaica?”
Bob: “Well you see whey I feel bout di music it can be copied unuh but, is not copy do it, is the feel, unuh. It carry a feel whey if you ask plenty musician dem know it but dem caan do it. Suh people still searching for this truth here which dis reggae music yah now bring cross to dem and the only purpose it serve is to tell people bout rastafari…” (watch full interview below)

To mark Reggae’s inscription into the representative list of intangible cultural heritage of humanity, The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) said, Reggae’s contribution to international discourse on issues of injustice, resistance, love and humanity underscores the dynamics of the element as being at once cerebral, sociopolitical, sensual and spiritual.” It’s (Reggae) function, “as a vehicle for social commentary, a cathartic pratice and a means for praising God” has not changed since its emergence fro the Caribbean in the late 1960’s.”

New Image Promotions joins the world over in congratulating the Honorable Minister Babsy Grange, UNESCO and all involved in securing one of Jamaica’s most significant national treasures, Reggae Music. It is also fitting to thank Reggae music fans world-wide for their appreciation of the music and the Jamaican culture.

Sophia McKay
Excerpts: The Guardian, BBC News