Ver Angola


Sona: the art of storytelling through drawings is a candidate for World Heritage

The Ministry of Culture is preparing to present the candidacy of 'Sona' to UNESCO's World Heritage Site. This symbol of the Tchokwe culture is an ethnomathematical art that tells stories through drawings in the sand.


The information was provided by the director of the provincial office for Culture, Tourism, Youth and Sports in Lunda Norte, Josefo Fernando, who said that the proposal should be presented in 2023. It will be studied in several universities worldwide, with scientific analysis being linguistic and communication anthropology of the Lunda-tcokwe peoples.

It is recalled that in 2021 this art was elevated to the category of Intangible Cultural Heritage by the Ministry of Culture.

The 'Sona', which means 'to write in the sand', was a form of communication of the ancestral peoples of the eastern region of the country, called Tchokwe. These wrote messages through engravings on the walls of houses, trees and on the floor of the villages, which were then deciphered by the remaining members of the community.

Some of these prints are currently on display at the Museu do Dundo, and are also portrayed in a book that addresses this culture and have also been portrayed in the film "Os Deuses da Água", an Argentine and Angolan co-production dated 2013. One of the testimonies locations in the film is that of an elder, museum employee, who was still practicing the art at the time of recording.

According to Angop, there are more than a dozen scientific works around the world that portray the art of 'Sona' alone, none of which come from Angola.

The historic center of Mbanza Congo was, in 2017, the first town in Angola to be recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

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