Intangible Heritage

© UNESCO Jakarta, The Wayang Puppet Theatre of Indonesia, as the Masterpiece of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity

In this world of mass communication and global cultural flows, many forms of living heritage are thriving, other forms and elements are more fragile, and some even endangered.

This living heritage, known as intangible, provides people with a sense of identity and continuity. Its safeguarding promotes, sustains, and develops cultural diversity and human creativity.

Intangible Cultural Heritage, as defined by the 2003 UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, consists of non-physical characteristics, practices, representations, expressions as well as knowledge and skills that identify and define a group or civilization.

The concept of intangible heritage extends particularly in the following cultural manifestations:

  • oral traditions and expressions, including language as a vehicle of the intangible cultural heritage
  • music, dance, drama and other performing arts
  • social practices, rituals and festive events
  • knowledge and practices concerning nature and the universe
  • traditional craftsmanship


Intangible Cultural Heritage at UNESCO

Intangible Cultural Heritage in Indonesia

Intangible Cultural Heritage in Malaysia 

Intangible Cultural Heritage in the Philippines


See also:

Back to top