Chapter 4

An Archive on the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Andean Populations in Peru and Bolivia 1

4.1. Introduction

As an innovative concept and object of large international consensus, Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) has generated a great amount of interest in both academic circles and the general public. Conducting our doctoral research on Peruvian sung poetry in Quechua1, we have attempted to better understand how this oral tradition which is locally viewed as a living heritage could also be recognized internationally due to the ICH2 concept. This perspective is of particular interest because, far from being a mere simple theoretical object, ICH is a new type of categorization which plays an active role in revalorizing traditions that have long been ignored or neglected. Recognizing orality in native languages through actions of promotion has proved to be of increasing importance in Peru and Bolivia where the Quechua language remains strongly undervalued in comparison to Spanish.

As such, we have dedicated a large part of our research to cooperating with cultural and scientific institutions3 working on living heritages to reflect on different ways of treating and promoting them. In this purpose, we have therefore collaborated in two projects, the French ASW-HSS project4 and the European Convergence project5, in which we are developing an audiovisual archive on intangible heritages of Andean populations in Peru and Bolivia6 (see Figure 4.1). The ASW-HSS and Convergence ...

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