Feasibility Study
The Intangible Cultural Heritage of Exmoor

 

S&A Projects have obtained funding to look into saving and promoting aspects of the cultural heritage of Exmoor. The project, partially funded from the National Park Partnership Fund, is conducting a six-month feasibility study into how to make the intangible cultural heritage of Exmoor more accessible to a wider public.  As defined by UNESCO, this heritage includes oral traditions and expressions; performing arts; knowledge and practices concerning nature and the universe; social practices, rituals and festive events; and traditional craftsmanship. 

Whilst matters such as ‘traditional craftsmanship’ and ‘knowledge and practices’ are already addressed by the National Park, the other matters are only marginally represented.  S&A Projects are therefore collecting information on the existence and location of matters relating to annual community events such as fairs, shows, customs and carnivals; oral culture such as tales, legends, stories, plant and weather lore; and performing arts such as local dances, folk songs, choirs, mumming, bellringing (both hand-bell and church teams), village bands, annual amateur dramatic performances, etc.  The project will also discuss the sustainability of this material, and how to promote and spread knowledge and practice of it. 

The study is investigating the locations of relevant collections and information, and will consider how to use current technology to make information available to a wide public.  It will also look at how interest and involvement in this culture can be promoted through such things as concerts and workshops, and how it can be maintained and developed throughout the National Park area.

S&A Projects invites groups, organisations and individuals who have an interest in or knowledge about these areas of study to contact Tom Brown by phone on 01271 882366, or by e-mail at sandaprojects@umbermusic.co.uk

 

 
THE FEASIBILITY STUDY IS TO DELIVER:
1.  Comprehensive list of extant sources, collections and workers in the field.
2.  Their willingness to contribute material in their copyright.
3.  Assessment of scale and volume of material.
4.  List of possible partners with their interest areas/levels.
5.  Recommendations for ensuring sustainability.
6.  Recommendations for methods of enhancing understanding and appreciation.
7.  Cost analysis of delivery methods.
Nat. Park PF14-22. National Park Action Fund - Small Grants Application Form PF14-22 – Feb. 2015)
 
THE INTANGIBLE CULTURAL HERITAGE INCLUDES:
Oral traditions and expressions
Performing arts
Knowledge and practices concerning nature and the universe
Social practices, rituals and festive events
Traditional craftsmanship.
(UNESCO. 2003. CONVENTION FOR THE SAFEGUARDING OF THE INTANGIBLE CULTURAL HERITAGE MISC/2003/CLT/CH/14. Paris, 17 October 2003)
 
‘ICH is both traditional and living, so it is constantly being recreated. This means that intangible heritage can rarely be called “authentic” in the same way artefacts and other cultural items can.’