Congratulations to Vanuatu as the Arthur Bernard Deacon collection is now on the UNESCO’s Memory of the World International Register. The material that Deacon collected during his visit to Malekula in 1926 from the individuals he interviewed is of great value to the people of the islands of Vanuatu. He recorded the language, customs and traditional tales of the people he studied, and illustrated the famous sand drawing tradition for which the islands are still renowned.
As Anne Naupa, Vanuatu National Archivist, exclaims,
“Deacon’s original publication is one of our treasured items in the National Library and is regularly referred to by researchers, students, and the general public. Our sand drawings were proclaimed a “Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in 2003 and we have just celebrated this 10-year old inscription with a 3-day mini-festival of intangible culture – sand drawings, weaving, carving and kastom dancing.”
Here’s the official UNESCO’s listing for Arthur Bernard Deacon collection.