Intangible heritage refers to things that cannot be “touched” – traditions, language, songs and stories. Soqotra has a rich tradition of intangible heritage with has received very little attention in the international arena.
Our team of experts on Soqotra has been given the task of recording as much of the intangible heritage of Soqotra as possible, as many of these traditions no longer form a part of daily life and are at risk of being lost in the near future. This documentation has taken the form of written reports, photographs and especially the use of film. A short film introducing the team and the intangible heritage of Soqotra can be viewed below:
There is no doubt that with careful research and planning, some of the traditional crafts of Soqotra have a value that could contribute to development and livelihoods on the islands. Traditionally manufactured ceramics, potentially decorated with Dragons Blood – small rugs and carpets made on a unique ground loom – produce made from the traditional management and harvesting of resources such as frankincense, aloe or honey collected from wild resources – all could find markets in the future that could help conserve the traditions that have sustained life on Soqotra for generations.
Documenting the oral traditions of Soqotra – it’s unique language, songs, poetry and theatre – is critically important as the archipelago is influenced more and more by external factors. This is especially true as the unique Soqotri language has no written form and is not taught in schools. Our team will raise awareness of this throughout their work, and hope to engage people to take more interest in their own special culture and take action to ensure it is not lost.