UNESCO’s Book On Traditional Knowledge

Pacific Islanders who are working to safeguard their heritage have shared their knowledge and wisdom in a new book and CD published by UNESCO. The new book is a 380-page volume titled, Traditional Knowledge and Wisdom – Themes from the Pacific Islands, and has taken two years to compile under a joint ICHCAP (Intangible Cultural Heritage Center in the Asia-Pacific) project with six Pacific countries – Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Palau, Papua New Guinea Tonga and Vanuatu.

Samuel Lee, the Director General of ICHCAP, states that the modern world is re-examining traditional knowledge. He says, “Traditional customs and know-how can be applied to overcome various social, environmental, and ecological challenges today. The traditional knowledge demonstrated here can motivate those in industrialized society to reflect on our own ways of living.”

The publication spans a wide range of the traditional practice and customs of Pacific communities. Themes of the book include, Worldviews, Relationships and Social Cohesion, Harvest and landscapes, Voyaging and Seascapes, Art and Technology.

Lee adds, “It shows how people in this region form and respect social relationships and how they work on problems that develop in those relationships.”

ICHCAP Administrator, Sun-hwa Rha, sums it up beautifully in the volume- “Traditional knowledge is like a precious gem passed down from our ancestors. It is the adamant duty of the current generation to refine, polish and help it to shine for transmission into the future.”

Feel free to peruse the e-book by clicking here.


Crabs at a Fijian Market


About islandculturearchivalsupport

Island Culture Archival Support (ICAS) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation of records pertaining to the cultural identity of island peoples in Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia whose national and public archives, libraries, cultural centers, and business organizations are underprivileged, underfunded, and understaffed. The specific purpose for which this nonprofit corporation was formed is to support the needs of these South Pacific cultural heritage institutions by helping to preserve and make accessible records created for business, accountability or cultural purposes. The organization will endeavor to add value by providing resources or volunteers to advise, train, and work among island residents to support their efforts in building their future and preserving their collective memory through the use of modern archival techniques.
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