UNESCO recognises Chagossian sega on Intangible Cultural Heritage list
Chagossian Tambour Sega music has been recognised by UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) on their list of Intangible Cultural Heritage.
In the announcement, UNESCO also classify Chagossian Sega as "In Urgent Need of Safeguarding." Recognising traditional Chagossian Segas related directly to the islands from which they are now exiled and that the passing away of community elders with expertise are threats to traditional Chagossian segas future.
UNESCO's full statement can be read on their website, and is copied in below.
UNESCO STATEMENT ON SEGA TAMBOUR CHAGOS
Sega tambour Chagos, Mauritius, Sega tambour Chagos is one of the genres of Sega music of Mauritius, originating in the Chagos Archipelago. Like other Segas, it was born of slavery and is sung in Chagossian Creole. The element involves the rhythmic performance of music, song and dance based on the ‘tambour’, with lyrics concerning everyday experiences. While Chagossians have striven to safeguard the element, there are numerous threats to its viability, including the passing away of elders, young people turning to other music genres, and displacement leading to a loss of memory.
As UNESCO note, the Chagossian community are working hard to maintain this aspect of their unique culture. Earlier this year the Chagos Tambour group released a new album.
More on Chagossian Sega and other Chagossian heritage can be found on the Chagos.online website.
Congratulations to all the Chagossians who have worked so hard to keep their traditions alive, through all the trials of exile, displacement and disadvantage.