UN Bestows Protected Status Onto Reggae Music

Musical genre added to UNESCO list of items promoted for their 'intangible cultural heritage'
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 29, 2018 10:35 AM CST
In this Aug. 21, 2016, photo, a man works on a mural featuring Bob Marley in Decatur, Ill.   (Allison Petty/Herald & Review via AP)

(Newser) – The UN is going to bat for Bob Marley. And Peter Tosh, and Toots and the Maytals, and all reggae music, really, as the musical genre has just been added to a list of protection-worthy items based on "intangible cultural heritage," the BBC reports. That's because of reggae's "cerebral, socio-political, sensual, and spiritual" qualities, which have added to the "international discourse on issues of injustice, resistance, love, and humanity," UNESCO says, per Deutsche Welle.

Not only that, but this type of music has "penetrated all corners of the world," notes a spokesman from Jamaica, where reggae originated in the '60s. This particular UN list began in 2008, with the goal to protect the items that make it on there by raising awareness of them around the world. Other cultural gems included on the list are centuries-old Czech puppetry and a "transcendental" Mongolian camel-coaxing ritual. (The late Bob Marley still brings in quite a paycheck.)

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