The exhibition is a collaboration between UNOCA and ANA (National Archive of Aruba). They also got help from the family of the late Mr. Federico Soto, who was one was one of the last casting fishing net makers in Aruba; Mr. Edward Dirksz, who is a fishing net caster; and Mr. Marco Christiaans, who wrote the book 'Perseverancia' (Perseverance).
This exhibition's goal is to showcase all the aspects that must be considered when naming an element as part of our intangible cultural heritage. An element is what we consider an example of what we have inherited from our ancestors. It is something that has been passed down from generation to generation, and there are still people practicing what they learned from their fathers, mothers, grandparents, aunts, uncles, or other family members or acquaintances.
Intangible cultural heritage, as defined in the Convention, particularly manifests itself in the following five areas:
- Oral tradition and expression, including language as a carrier of intangible cultural heritage.
- performing arts, craftsmanship, and folklore.
- social customs, rituals, and festive events.
- knowledge and practices concerning nature and the universe.
- traditional craftsmanship techniques and know-how.
In addition to the artifacts and tools that are part of fishing net casting, UNESCO is also paying attention to the language that carries an element. For this reason, Mr. Marco Christiaans was invited to give a presentation on different words and expressions that form the typical language of fishermen in Aruba in our Papiamento language. It is important to note the richness of our language. In this case, we have different ways to indicate intangible cultural heritage.
The first is derived from the English term intangible cultural heritage. The second from the Spanish term Patrimonio Cultural Intangible. In the Dutch Caribbean, in Papiamento, we also use the word 'immaterial,' derived from the Dutch language, which uses Immaterieel Erfgoed. In this way, we also use intangible cultural heritage, or Patrimonio Cultural Inmaterial. All four terms refer to the same definition in the 2003 UNESCO Convention.
The exhibition at ANA is open until the end of November 2023, from 8:00 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. and in the afternoon from 01:15 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Admission is free.