Evaluating the Safeguarding Action Plan for Timbila

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract

9 Downloads (Pure)


Timbila is an expressive practice of the Chopi people, rooted in the south of Mozambique. In 2005, it was proclamated as a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of the Humanity by UNESCO. As a recommendation of the 2003 UNESCO Convention, periodical research or inventories must be carried out to evaluate the situation and implement the Action Plan. Following this, in October of 2016, 11 years after the proclamation, the Mozambique government requested the Institute for Social and Cultural Research (ARPAC) to create an Inventory of the intangible heritage of Quissico Village, the administrative centre for Zavala District, which is considered the homeland of the Chopi. Despite the limits of this kind of research, important data was collected and it was possible to get indications of the state of timbila practice nowadays. Besides many other concerns, the scarcity of mwenje wood to produce xylophone keys risks the extinction of instrument construction, and was mentioned by many practitioners as a huge difficulty in ensuring sustainability, “authenticity” and “originality”. Based on the Action Plan, interviews and ethnography carried out for the inventory (as a researcher for ARPAC), and considering my previous research about the cultural policies around timbila, I argue that the low level of participation among practitioners in the Safeguarding Plan is the origin of this and other related difficulties faced by the retainers of this cultural expression.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages2
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Event45th International Council for Traditional Music World Conference - Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand
Duration: 11 Jul 201917 Jul 2019
Conference number: 45


Conference45th International Council for Traditional Music World Conference
Abbreviated titleICTM World Conference
Internet address


Dive into the research topics of 'Evaluating the Safeguarding Action Plan for Timbila'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this