Jamaica to the World

  • Hubert DevonishEmail author
  • Karen Carpenter


It is the thirteenth session of the UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. The inscription of the Reggae Music of Jamaica on the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Heritage of Mankind creates a clear and identifiable link between Jamaica, on the one hand, and Reggae Music which it created, on the other. The Jamaican manoeuvre functions as a means of blocking appropriation and ensuring that all makers of reggae music function as imitators of Jamaican genres or adopters/adapters of the genre, but never as owners or originators of the music. This attempt by the Jamaican state to get a birth certificate and declaration of paternity for reggae is very well thought through.


Reggae music UNESCO Intangible heritage Jamaican state 


  1. Devonish, H., & Jones, B. (2017). Jamaica: A State of Language, Music and Crisis of Nation. Inna Jamaican Stylee, 13(1), 118–130.Google Scholar
  2. Howard, D. (2018). Jamaican Language Anchoring Cultural Exports. The Jamaica Gleaner. Retrieved from
  3. Jamaica Information Service. (2018). Reggae Music Jamaica’s Most Valuable Export – Grange Tells UNESCO Creative Cities of Music Meeting. Retrieved from
  4. Jamaica Information Service. (2019). Jamaican Coat of Arms. Retrieved from
  5. UNESCO. (2018). Thirteenth session of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage (13.COM). Port Louis, Republic of Mauritius. November 26 - December 1, 2018.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Language, Linguistics & PhilosophyUniversity of the West IndiesMonaJamaica
  2. 2.Caribbean Sexuality Research GroupKingstonJamaica

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