Intangible Cultural Heritage

Intangible Heritage associated with Indentured Labour

On June 24, 2004, Mauritius became the second member state to ratify the UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage. Two years later the Aapravasi Ghat, or former Immigration Depot, was inscribed under criterion vi on the World Heritage List, recognizing its intangible cultural heritage as a major component of the historical significance of this international symbol of the indenture labor system of the 19th century.

As a signatory of the Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage, Mauritius engaged in an inventory of elements of intangible heritage to identify, safeguard and promote intangible cultural heritage.

This inventory of intangible heritage inventory responds to the need to preserve a disappearing heritage. The creation of a national inventory was an opportunity to consider this heritage on a global scale, as well as to encourage its recognition at a national level.

In these ways, the Aapravasi Ghat Trust Fund hopes to contribute to the recognition of intangible heritage related to indenture, a page of colonial history opening a new scope of research.

More information on Intangible Cultural Heritage can be obtained at the National Heritage Fund: the institution is the national repository for ICH in Mauritius.

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