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EVE1“Still does not have a binding multilateral instrument aimed at safeguarding the intangible cultural heritage.” (Convention for the safeguarding of the intangible cultural heritage. UNESCO, 2003).

Which Intangible Heritage is normally considered is what is called intellectual heritage. The contributions of privileged minds and pioneering that constitute the engine of scientific progress, regarding cultural community and tools for the interpretation of the environment and the natural environment. This is considered the intellectual heritage world heritage of humanity (?). This mentioned on the intellectual heritage must have a register in writing, otherwise it seems to be becoming in wisps of smoke, heritage nor anything (?). Let’s do a review of the “tangible”.


1. Literature works, are intellectual creations of literary nature, aesthetic, historical or artistic value.

2 Music of any kind, is art that is expressed through the sort of sounds in time.

3 Theories of science and philosophy, are human knowledge that contribute or contributed to understanding the workings of the world and human existence in it.

And we continue with the theories…

There is a first type of transmission occurring spontaneously, what we call oral tradition, which refers to a memory essentially private, constituted largely by personal or family memories of anecdotal character, evocation of intense experiences, meetings decisive, of episodias that leave a memory that must be enduring in the collective memory. (René Remond, “The transmission of memory”, Forum International memory and history, Unesco 1998).


f course, should recognize that when formulating theories in international forums between canape and glass of wine, we are truly good. At least there is a theorist effort leading to the scholars and theorists to gather in these planetary encounters, giving meaning to the existence of macro-instituciones giving work to thousands of people around the world – thank goodness-, so that finally the conclusions of these mega-meetings “UNESCO Conference establishment”, or as they may be, to become mountains of documents, studies, theses and conclusionsHall lectures or books. During the time in which theories are formulated, the ideas are formulated and organized meetings of experts, the world Watch hardwired, every day, disappearing ethnic treasures, whole tribes dispersed to merge with nothing, ancient traditions are not going to be continued and will be lost for ever, stories that they will be told only once to definitively bury into oblivion.

27-Before-they-pass-away-Jimmy-Nelson-yatzerAnalyzing this situation, which for us is a real drama, it comes to mind the library of Alexandria. It was founded with the aim of preserving knowledge and human knowledge which had generated up to that point in the history of humanity, and which would be generated in the future. A huge legacy of knowledge and know that you he will be retained until the end of time for the good of mankind. Once destroyed that legacy, all this knowledge and knowledge became smoke (literally) without replacement. Today, neglect to ancestral cultures smoke remains scattered in our atmosphere. The reality is very hard. The intellectual heritage, Intangible Heritage it disappears. We are observing, relentlessly, as those non-material treasures are devoured by the thrust of globalization. They are devoured by the steamroller of the global geo-politics. Where that institution might be called Museum of civilizations to really defend and preserve all cultural expressions of the planet, are tangible or intangible, preventing their extinction? A museum institution of civilizations in the world, with the obligation to preserve the intangible heritage, which is heritage for future generations and which is not lost, that it is us forever. We know those antropologic-etnics museums found here and there, scattered outside a network all over the world. They are institutions which has much merit for the huge effort they made to keep, but they are efforts that individually do not have as much strength, that strength fades. Little worth us these museums, being very valid and valuable institutions as we say, languages, dialects, customs, ceremonies, beliefs, cultural expressions of all kinds, by very strange that they seem to us, are safe forever and not likely to volatilize one by one. Anyway, at the end of the road, at least we still have Whastapp.


Here we show images of ethnic groups on the verge of disappearance. They are photographs taken by Jimmy Nelson (in a work titled “Before they pass away”), all over the world. You can at least save a visual document of what was before and will no longer be.

KAZAKH, Mongolia


HIMBA, Namibia*

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HULI, Indonesia y Papúa Nueva Guinea


ASARO, Indonesia y Papua Nueva Guinea


KALAM, Indonesia y Papua Nueva Guinea


GOROKA, Papua Nueva Guinea




MAORI, Nueva Zelanda

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GAUCHOS , Argentina

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TSAATAN, Mongolia

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MURSI, Etiopía




VANUATU, Islas Vanuatu



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KARO, Etiopía

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BANNA, Etiopía

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DANI, Indonesia, Papúa Nueva Guinea

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MAASAI, Tanzania


And on, and on, and on…

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(*) An ineffable TV Channel in Spain TV, used several members of the Himba tribe, Pygmies, Goroka and other tribes, for an unspeakable television program, action which should be regulated and prohibited strictly all around the world.