Jultagi, tightrope walking
Inscribed in 2011 (6.COM) on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity
Country(ies): Republic of Korea
- Jultagi, tightrope walking
Tightrope walking is a widespread form of entertainment that in most countries focuses purely on acrobatic skill. The traditional Korean performing art of Jultagi is distinctive in that it is accompanied by music and witty dialogue between the tightrope walker and an earthbound clown. Jultagi is performed outside. The tightrope walker executes a variety of acrobatic feats on the rope, along with jokes, mimicry, songs and dance, while a clown engages the tightrope walker in joking banter, and a team of musicians plays music to accompany the entertainment. The tightrope walker starts with simpler feats, gradually moving to more difficult acrobatics, displaying some forty different rope techniques in a performance that can last several hours. Today, tightrope walking performers are frequently invited to local festivals that take place throughout the country, particularly in spring and autumn. Currently, transmission of tightrope walking in Korea is centred on the Jultagi Safeguarding Association in Gyeonggi Province. There are two types of training: apprenticeship education where masters educate practitioners and take on students, and public education which takes various forms such as school training, experience classes and summer camps.
Decision 6.COM 13.41
The Committee (…) decides that [this element] satisfies the criteria for inscription on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, as follows:
- R.1: Jultagi is a traditional performing art of great complexity that integrates musical, choreographic and symbolic expressions of Korean culture to delight and entertain audiences;
- R.2: Jultagi is a testimony of human creativity and its inscription on the Representative List could contribute to promoting intercultural exchange by drawing attention to the different types of tightrope walking worldwide;
- R.3: Safeguarding measures include strengthening of transmission modes, raising awareness, increasing education opportunities and research activities, and the commitment of the Jultagi Preservation Association as well as of government institutions is demonstrated;
- R.4: The element was nominated with the participation of the Jultagi Preservation Association and master bearer, who provided their free, prior and informed consent to the nomination;
- R.5: At the request of the groups and individuals concerned, Jultagi tightrope walking was designated in 1976 as an Important Intangible Cultural Heritage by the Intangible Cultural Heritage Division of the Cultural Heritage Administration.
Inscribes Jultagi, tightrope walking on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
© 2009 by Cultural Heritage Administration of the Republic of Korea
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