UGANDA'S barkcloth has been named among the worldâ€™s traditional preserve recognised by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).
The red-brownish fabric, made from the bark of five different fig tree species like ficus natalensis and ficus thonningi, is among the 43 new masterpieces of oral and intangible heritage.
The masterpieces include oral forms of expression, music and dance, rituals and mythologies, knowledge and practices concerning the universe, know-how linked to traditional crafts as well as cultural sites.
Often vulnerable, this heritage is essential in the identity of communities and its people.
Augustine Omare Okurut, the head of the Uganda National Commission for UNESCO, says, â€œThe move is an honour to Uganda because it recognises the indigenous textile production skills of Uganda craftsmen. It will strengthen activities aimed at preserving barkcloth production skills in Uganda and internationally.â€
This was UNESCOâ€™s third proclamation of masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage, an international distinction aimed at raising public awareness of the value of this heritage.
The UNESCO World Heritage list currently has 812 properties including the Kasubi Tombs, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. and Rwenzori National Park.