The safeguard of the intangible cultural heritage contributes to sustainable development and its economic, social and environmental dimensions.  

Established in 2013 in the framework of the United Nations International Decade for the Rapprochement of Cultures (2013-2022), the Association Culture of Origins has the vocation to reveal the diverse natural and cultural sources of the intangible heritage of Mankind.

The original sources of this intangible cultural heritage come from specific endemic spaces. They have been enriched and transformed, throughout history, by the contributions of knowledge, traditional know-how, new technique and inventions of other cultures and civilizations.   

This approach seems all the more necessary at a time when globalization tends to leave aside and ignore the roots of cultural goods and services which constitute the living heritage. Yet, in the cultural domain to forget the past is to deprive the present of the landmarks which condition the future of both communities and individuals.

 Culture of Origins falls within the framework of Land and Maritime Routes which promote exchanges among peoples of diverse cultures and civilizations and weave lasting links between peoples.

The living heritage is not only cultural but also social, economic and touristic since it contributes to the complementarity of offices- researchers, botanists, enterprises, artisans-and to the transmission of know-how inspired by ancient cultural exchanges. Thus, the regions and lands producing original raw materials are at the core of the research program of Culture of Origins.

The priority objectives of Culture of Origins are: to promote the recognition of the cultural sources and wealth of the living heritage; to create and develop networks of professionals specialized in the living heritage and partnerships between private and public sectors and to implement projects and events focused on the sources of the living heritage of Mankind.

Culture of Origins differs from other existing organizations in its inclusive, open approach to the intangible cultural heritage.
Indeed, the idea is to reveal the origins and evolutions of the elements of this common heritage of Mankind and not to confine them to one territory. This approach relies on objective data base concerning the endemic raw materials- resins, flowers, plants, woods, spices, maritime elements s – which are the roots of the intangible cultural heritage.

Moreover, such an original approach allows to valorize the contribution of some countries which are not always recognized for their role at the start of the creation of goods prevailing today across the world.

© Guy Le Querrec - Magnum Photos

" I support all the more the reason behind the creation of “Culture of Origins” since I have always taught the importance of remembering culture-diversity, in front of the justified development of the defense of biodiversity. Since more than 3 million years, the heritage of our planet, unique and irreplaceable, is obviously at the meeting point of two sources of diversity, the cultural adding to the biological. It is therefore like preaching to a converted to demonstrate to me the importance of cultures, of traditions and of their preservation in the open framework of the evolution of their creators ( the point is not at all to freeze things). I am therefore all the more honoured by your invitation”.

      Yves COPPENS


  • Promote research on origins and highlight research works by facilitating meetings and exchanges among researchers.

  • Create and develop networks (projects, research, partnerships) around the concept of Culture of Origins.

  • Implement cultural projects focused on the origins of the intangible cultural heritage of Mankind by means of exhibitions, publications, research, conferences, creation of venues…

  • Participate as a partner in the projects of international organizations, associations or foundations promoting the heritage of Mankind.