Thursday, January 23, 2014

New 2013 Intangible Cultural Heritage Elements

The UNESCO Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of Intangible Heritage concluded its annual meeting in Baku, Azerbaijan at the start of December. I was a bit busy with work, a house move, Christmas preparations, and time off, so it kind of passed me by. My belated congratulations to all the new listed elements!

More information on intangible heritage on UNESCO's site.

Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity
Annual pilgrimage to the mausoleum of Sidi ‘Abd el-Qader Ben Mohammed (Sidi Cheikh) (Algeria)
Practices and knowledge linked to the Imzad of the Tuareg communities of Algeria, Mali and Niger (Algeria – Mali – Niger)
Traditional art of Jamdani weaving (Bangladesh)
Shrimp fishing on horseback in Oostduinkerke (Belgium)
Círio de Nazaré (The Taper of Our Lady of Nazareth) in the city of Belém, Pará (Brazil)
Chinese Zhusuan, knowledge and practices of mathematical calculation through the abacus (China)
Mediterranean diet (Cyprus – Croatia – Spain – Greece – Italy – Morocco – Portugal)
Commemoration feast of the finding of the True Holy Cross of Christ (Ethiopia)
Limousin septennial ostensions (France)
Ancient Georgian traditional Qvevri wine-making method (Georgia)
Sankirtana, ritual singing, drumming and dancing of Manipur (India)
Celebrations of big shoulder-borne processional structures (Italy)
Washoku, traditional dietary cultures of the Japanese, notably for the celebration of New Year (Japan)
Kyrgyz epic trilogy: Manas, Semetey, Seytek (Kyrgyzstan)
Traditional craftsmanship of the Mongol Ger and its associated customs (Mongolia)
Knowledge, skills and rituals related to the annual renewal of the Q’eswachaka bridge (Peru)
Kimjang, making and sharing kimchi (South Korea)
Men’s group Colindat, Christmas-time ritual (Moldova – Romania )
Xooy, a divination ceremony among the Serer (Senegal)
Music of Terchová (Slovakia)
Feast of the Holy Forty Martyrs in Štip (Macedonia)
Turkish coffee culture and tradition (Turkey)
Petrykivka decorative painting as a phenomenon of the Ukrainian ornamental folk art (Ukraine)
La Parranda de San Pedro de Guarenas y Guatire (Venezuela)
Art of Đờn ca tài tử music and song in southern Viet Nam (Viet Nam)

List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding
Chovqan, a traditional Karabakh horse-riding game in the Republic of Azerbaijan (Azerbaijan)
Paach ceremony (Guatemala)
Mongolian calligraphy (Mongolia)
Empaako tradition of the Batooro, Banyoro, Batuku, Batagwenda and Banyabindi of western Uganda (Uganda)

Register of Best Safeguaring Practices
Methodology for inventorying intangible cultural heritage in biosphere reserves: the experience of Montseny (Spain)

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Greenland IV

Postcard from Greenland showing a man in a kayak. Kayaks were originally developed by the Inuit people of the Arctic, and the word itself is indeed Inuktitut, qajaq (ᖃᔭᖅ), meaning "man's boat" or "hunter's boat". The first kayaks were constructed from stitched animal skins stretched over a wood or whalebone frame – Inuit in the western Arctic used wood whereas those in the east used whalebone due to the lack of available trees in the tundra. They are most commonly made of modern materials nowadays, but continue to be used in traditional fishing and hunting practices.

Stamp on the left is from the 2012 definitive series featuring Queen Margrethe II. Stamp on the right is from a multiyear series on Greenlandic herbs featuring Fucus vesiculosus, or bladderwrack, issued in 2013. Bladderwrack is a common seaweed in the North Atlantic Ocean and was the original source of iodine, used to treat a variety of ailments.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Canada – Nova Scotia

Postcard from the East Coast fishing town of Lunenburg. The town is the best surviving example of a planned British colonial settlement in North America and, as such, is a World Heritage site, Old Town Lunenburg. Established in 1753, it has retained its original layout and overall appearance, with preserved wooden architecture dating, in some cases, from the eighteenth century. The town is also known for its flat-bottomed wooden boats, seen here in the foreground.

 Previously featured definitive stamp series featuring baby animal.

A not often seen Canadian air mail label.

Sunday, January 19, 2014


Apologies to all for my overly extended hiatus from the bloggosphere. I was busy with work and then moved house right before leaving for Christmas holidays. Am only now starting to get back to the normal order of things. Starting off the New Year on the right foot, however, with a new country for the collection: OMAN! Woots are in order, as are many thanks to friend Ceri who was in Oman on holiday (and reports loving it immensely).

Card shows the Omani traditional dagger, called the khanjar (خنجر‎). It is a symbolic weapon, worn by men after puberty and carried in an ornamental, filigree silver scabbard. It's of such importance to the national culture that it even appears on the flag and in the national emblem.

Definitive stamps from the set issued in 2001, again featuring the khanjar.