Thursday, December 13, 2012

New 2012 Intangible Cultural Heritage Elements

The UNESCO Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage wrapped up its 2012 session in Paris a few days ago and added a number of elements to the List. As yet, I don't have any postcards of intangible cultural heritage on my site, but I'm sure there are some in my archives that will come to light eventually. 

Although I don't think I'll try to collect the whole set of intangible heritage elements – many are things that would never necessarily be featured on a postcard such as ceramics craftsmanship or weaving – I feel the List is very important, however, because it publicises and gives value to unique elements of the world's cultures which might otherwise go unnoticed or be forgotten. 

The list is divided into three sections. The first is for elements that require urgent measures to keep them alive. Inscription on the List helps to mobilize international cooperation and assistance for stakeholders to undertake appropriate safeguarding measures. The second is for representative elements that help demonstrate the diversity of this heritage and raise awareness about its importance. The third is a register of best practices which could be adopted by other communities looking to safeguard and promote their intangible heritage.

More information on intangible heritage on UNESCO's site. Congratulations to all newly inscribed elements!

List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding
Ala-kiyiz and Shyrdak, art of Kyrgyz traditional felt carpets (Kyrgyzstan)
Bigwala, gourd trumpet music and dance of the Busoga Kingdom in Uganda (Uganda)
Earthenware pottery-making skills in Botswana’s Kgatleng District (Botswana)
Noken multifunctional knotted or woven bag, handcraft of the people of Papua (Indonesia)

Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity
Al ‘azi, elegy, processional march and poetry Oman Al-Taghrooda, traditional Bedouin chanted poetry in the United Arab Emirates and the Sultanate of Oman (United Arab Emirates – Oman)
Arirang, lyrical folk song in the Republic of Korea (Republic of Korea)
Buddhist chanting of Ladakh: recitation of sacred Buddhist texts in the trans-Himalayan Ladakh region, Jammu and Kashmir, India (India)
Cherry festival in Sefrou (Morocco)
Craftsmanship and performance art of the Tar, a long-necked string musical instrument (Azerbaijan)
Craftsmanship of Horezu ceramics (Romania)
Cultural practices and expressions linked to the balafon of the Senufo communities of Mali, Burkina Faso and Côte d'Ivoire (Mali – Burkina Faso – Côte d'Ivoire)
Falconry, a living human heritage (Austria and Hungary added to United Arab Emirates – Belgium – Czech Republic – France – Republic of Korea – Mongolia – Morocco – Qatar – Saudi Arabia – Spain – Syrian Arab Republic)
Fest-Noz, festive gathering based on the collective practice of traditional dances of Brittany (France)
Festival of Saint Francis of Assisi, Quidbó (Colombia)
Fiesta of the patios in Cordova (Spain)
Folk art of the Matyó, embroidery of a traditional community (Hungary)
Frevo, performing arts of the Carnival of Recife (Brazil)
Ichapekene Piesta, the biggest festival of San Ignacio de Moxos (Bolivia)
Klapa multipart singing of Dalmatia, southern Croatia (Croatia)
Marches of Entre-Sambre-et-Meuse (Belgium)
Mesir Macunu festival (Turkey)
Nachi no Dengaku, a religious performing art held at the Nachi fire festival (Japan)
Performance of the Armenian epic of “Daredevils of Sassoun” or “David of Sassoun” (Armenia)
Qālišuyān rituals of Mašhad-e Ardehāl in Kāšān (Iran)
Rites and craftsmanship associated with the wedding costume tradition of Tlemcen (Algeria)
Schemenlaufen, the carnival of Imst, Austria (Austria)
Traditional violin craftsmanship in Cremona (Italy)
Traditional weaving of the Ecuadorian toquilla straw hat (Ecuador)
Venezuela's Dancing Devils of Corpus Christi (Venezuela)
Worship of Hùng kings in Phú Thọ (Viet Nam)

Programmes, projects and activities for the safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage considered to best reflect the principles and objectives of the Convention
Strategy for training coming generations of Fujian puppetry practitioners (China)
Xtaxkgakget Makgkaxtlawana: the Centre for Indigenous Arts and its contribution to safeguarding the intangible cultural heritage of the Totonac people of Veracruz, Mexico (Mexico)

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