Research Handbook on Contemporary Intangible Cultural Heritage
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Research Handbook on Contemporary Intangible Cultural Heritage

Law and Heritage

Edited by Charlotte Waelde, Catherine Cummings, Mathilde Pavis and Helena Enright

Bringing together key insights from expert legal and heritage academics and practitioners, this book explores the existence and safeguarding of contemporary forms of intangible cultural heritage (ICH). Providing a detailed analysis of the international legal frameworks relevant to ICH, the contributing authors then go on to challenge the pervasive view that heritage is about ‘old’ tangible objects by highlighting the existence, role and importance of contemporary forms of ICH to modern society.
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Chapter 15: ICH as the prime asset of a cultural landscape and seascape: a case study of the Banda Islands, Indonesia ICH as the prime

Joëlla van Donkersgoed and Jessica Brown


In recent decades, heritage practitioners and scholars have been rethinking conventional dichotomies related to culture vs. nature, and to tangible vs. intangible heritage. In this chapter, we suggest that adopting a cultural landscape perspective reveals the intrinsic connections among all dimensions of heritage, allowing for more holistic, community-based approaches to conservation. Examining the case of the Banda Islands, whose vibrant intangible cultural heritage (ICH) is inextricably linked to the natural environment, we explore the central role of local communities in sustaining their heritage through practices that reinforce these nature-culture connections in the landscape and seascape. We discuss the potential role of ICH, including traditional systems of knowledge and governance, in the ongoing process of the Banda Islands’ nomination to the World Heritage list. Recognizing the role of these communities in creating, safeguarding and sustaining cultural landscapes/seascapes and their associated ICH will strengthen their ability to have their heritage acknowledged and will empower them in ensuring its long-term stewardship.

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