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Unesco protects Reggae music, describing it as a 'means of praising God'

by Eno Adeogun

The music genre is now on the UN group's list of "intangible cultural heritage".

Reggae developed from the distinctive musical environment of Jamaica in the 1960s, emerging from the sounds of rocksteady and ska in deprived districts like Trenchtown.


Bob Marley founded The Wailers in 1963, and the collaboration carried the hallmark social commentary, criticism of capitalism and appeals to spirituality that would come to characterise Reggae music and make it a "voice to the people of the world".

The Wailers have welcomed Unesco's move.


UNnesco noted that the music began as "the voice of the marginalised", and added: "The basic social functions of the music - as a vehicle for social commentary, a cathartic practice, and a means of praising God - have not changed, and the music continues to act as a voice for all."

Unesco added that it recognised the musical form for its social function, worldwide appeal and religious roots in the Rastafari movement.

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