Works of art, both prehistoric and ethnographic, sites of cult and of socialization, along with myths and other oral traditions, constitute an immense patrimony. They are the primary source of the intellectual and spiritual heritage of mankind. They constitute the most important common endeavour of our species, the main source of human identity. Within the larger project of permanent monitoring of knowledge, new discoveries and state of the sites in this field, the international UISPP Commission on The Intellectual and Spiritual Expressions of Non-literate Peoples is organizing a meeting aimed at updating the state of the art.

In this fast developing world oral traditions, monuments and sites undergo a process of deterioration and even obliteration. One must proceed urgently with the documentation of whatever still survives of this patrimony as completely and as precisely as possible. Documentation requires a basic understanding of relevant conceptual, theoretical and technical aspects. Documentation is not an aim in itself, it is a mean for understanding. The colloquium will primarily focus on this aspect of the general problem. The meeting will include a series of papers, a round table and a guided visit to the Quai Branly Museum followed by a debate. The proceedings will be published.

We have the pleasure of inviting you and your collaborators to attend this conference, which is due to take place in Paris on the 22nd and 23rd of October 2007.

Emmanuel Anati, President
Jean-Pierre Mohen, Vice president

For any query :
– E. Anati, email:
– J.-P. Mohen, email:

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