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Projects for the safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage

This page presents the projects and programmes aiming at safeguarding intangible cultural heritage implemented in cooperation with UNESCO. They are either the result of the approval by the Committee of financial assistance requests or the implementation of projects designed by UNESCO and financed by its regular budget or by extrabudgetary funds.

Strengthening the capacities of Eritrea for implementing the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage

  • Budget (US$): 240,000
  • Source: ICH Fund (Norway)
  • Dates: 21-03-2014/ongoing
  • Progress report (11-2014): English

Benefitting country(ies): Eritrea

Safeguarding the Intangible Cultural Heritage for the Promotion of Cultural Identity and Community Resilience in Timor-Leste

  • Budget (US$): 177,500
  • Source: Emergency Fund
  • Dates: 05-2013/09-2013

Benefitting country(ies): Timor-Leste

Safeguarding of the ICH of the Batammariba of Koutammarkou

  • Budget (US$): 153,726
  • Source: Japan
  • Dates: 04-2007/06-2009

Benefitting country(ies): Togo


Koutammarkou, a site in the North-East of Togo inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2004, shelters the Batammariba (“those who work the earth”) whose houses with turrets made of earth, the takyientas (“those who guard”), have become the symbol of Togo. This project aims at ensuring the safeguarding of the rich intangible cultural heritage of the Batammariba. ›››

Organization of three sub-regional capacity-building workshops for Africa

  • Budget (US$): 269,988
  • Source: Norway; UNESCO - Regular budget
  • Dates: 07-2007/12-2008


The project (209 988 USD), co-funded by UNESCO regular programme, aimed at supporting the inscription of African intangible cultural heritage on the lists of the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, through organizing the following three Capacity-Building Workshops for African states:


National consultation workshop

  • Budget (US$): 27,489
  • Source: Japan
  • Dates: 03-2008/12-2008

Benefitting country(ies): Papua New Guinea

Safeguarding and Transmission of the Kutiyattam Sanskrit Theatre

  • Budget (US$): 151,241
  • Source: Japan
  • Dates: 01-2004/10-2007

Benefitting country(ies): India


Kutiyattam is the oldest surviving form of Sanskrit theatre in Kerala, India, which developed a rich symbolic set of facial gestures, masks, and colorful costumes. This project aimed to bring Kutiyattam performers, previously working separately, together in creative exchange and expand the interest in their art. The long-term objectives were to:

  • Create a network of Kutiyattam institutions and gurukalam (learning centres)
  • Nurture the transmission to future generations
  • Develop new audiences for Kutiyattam
  • Foster further academic research on Kutiyattam

To address them, the project activities included the organization of:

  • A Network of Kutiyattam Associations through joint coordination meetings of Kutiyattam institutions and gurukalam (learning centres), as well as the compilation of a Kutiyattam Register of traditional families and individual practitioners
  • Training workshops and art camps for young artists and an increased number of performances, while the wider public was engaged in public performances and festivals
  • Workshop for performers to handle palm-leaf manuscripts of Kutiyattam, often in possession of families; re-edition of old palm-leaf manuscripts and production of new plays; and audio-visual recordings and a series of documentary films
  • Academic seminars and publications

A major result was that for the first time Kutiyattam performers cooperated in an association to address common issues and exchange practices, which in the past was kept privately in the last three custodian families. ›››