JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Minister of Youth and Culture, Hon. Lisa Hanna, says significant strides have been made in securing and preserving Jamaica’s oral and intangible cultural heritage.
  • She pointed out that the African Caribbean Institute of Jamaica (ACIJ), an agency under the Ministry of Youth and Culture, has been working to protect the intangible pieces of Jamaican culture.
  • The Minister said that earlier this year a call was made “for the preservation and protection of our intangible cultural heritage, so we wouldn’t lose it.”

Minister of Youth and Culture, Hon. Lisa Hanna, says significant strides have been made in securing and preserving Jamaica’s oral and intangible cultural heritage.

She pointed out that the African Caribbean Institute of Jamaica (ACIJ), an agency under the Ministry of Youth and Culture, has been working to protect the intangible pieces of Jamaican culture.

“We got some funds from UNESCO and we were able to do a number of things for that protection,” Ms. Hanna added.

Addressing a recent Jamaica Information Service (JIS) ‘Think Tank’, held at the agency’s head office to launch Heritage Month 2015, the Minister said that earlier this year a call was made “for the preservation and protection of our intangible cultural heritage, so we wouldn’t lose it.”

She said that persons in communities with a rich cultural heritage, such as Moore Town in Portland and Accompong in St. Elizabeth, had packaged information on Jamaican culture. “This was captured and sent to the Ministry via YouTube, emails, and photographs,” she noted.

The Minister pointed out that foreigners have visited Jamaica to utilise information stored by the ACIJ.

She commended the ACIJ, the Jamaica Conservation Development Trust, Jamaica National Heritage Trust and the Creative Production and Training Centre for the work they are doing to catalogue Jamaica’s history, as well as to preserve and protect the intangible heritage of Jamaica.

Ms. Hanna also lauded the National Library of Jamaica for having the largest archive of literature about Jamaica’s history and the region.

Meanwhile, Executive Director of the ACIJ, Bernard Jankee, confirmed that there is a large collection of Jamaica’s oral history, noting that the research began in the 1960s.

“We do have a vast archive of our oral history, which covers not only the Maroon community, but communities across the length and breadth of the country,” he said.

Mr. Jankee said the agency has recently received support from the Ministry of Youth and Culture to set up web portals, for people to get involved in documenting and contributing to the archives of intangible cultural heritage.

He noted that the ACIJ has also trained community members to document the history of their communities.

Heritage Month is being observed in October, under the theme: ‘Jamaican Heritage: Impacting the World’.