» Celebrations, healing techniques, crafts and culinary arts added to the Representative List of the Intangible ...
16.11.2010 - UNESCOPRESS

Celebrations, healing techniques, crafts and culinary arts added to the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage

© M.Rahimov/Ministry of Culture and Tourism - The traditional art of Azerbaijani carpet weaving in the Republic of Azerbaijan.

The UNESCO Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, meeting in Nairobi from 15 to 19 November and chaired by Jacob Ole Miaron (Kenya), today inscribed 13 new elements on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. The Committee is examining a total of 47 nominees.

      See complete descriptions of the new elements.

The new elements, in order of inscription, are:

Azerbaijan - The traditional art of Azerbaijani carpet weaving in the Republic of Azerbaijan - Azerbaijani carpet weaving is a traditional handmade textile of various sizes, knotted or woven. Its texture is dense and its patterns are characteristic of Azerbaijan’s many carpet-making regions. Carpet making is a family tradition transferred orally and through practice.

Belgium - Aalst carnival - When the three-day Aalst Carnaval begins each year on the Sunday before the Christian Lent, it is the culmination of a year of preparation by the inhabitants of this city in East Flanders in northern Belgium (…) The 600-year-old ritual, drawing up to 100,000 spectators, is a collective effort of all social classes and a symbol of the town’s identity in the region.
Belgium - Houtem Jaarmarkt, annual winter fair and livestock market at Sint-Lievens-Houtem - Houtem Jaarmarkt is an annual trading fair taking place in the village of Sint-Lievens-Houtem in the south-eastern Belgian province of East Flanders. Every year, on 11 and 12 November, the village becomes the site of the country’s last substantial open-air market for trading cattle and purebred horses.

Belgium - Krakelingen and Tonnekensbrand, end-of-winter bread and fire feast at Geraardsbergen - The city of Geraardsbergen holds its annual market on the first Monday in March and celebrates the end of winter on Sunday eight days earlier, with the festival of Krakelingen and Tonnekensbrand (…) The festive ritual yields a strong sense of continuity and historical awareness for its participants, evoking historical events and legends passed on from generation to generation.

China - Acupuncture and moxibustion of traditional Chinese medicine - Acupuncture and moxibustion are forms of traditional Chinese medicine widely practised in China and also found in regions of south-east Asia, Europe and the Americas. The theories of acupuncture and moxibustion hold that the human body acts as a small universe connected by channels, and that by physically stimulating these channels the practitioner can promote the human body’s self-regulating functions and bring health to the patient.

China - Peking opera - Peking opera is a performance art incorporating singing, reciting, acting, martial arts. Although widely practised throughout China, its performance centres on Beijing, Tianjin and Shanghai. Peking opera is sung and recited using primarily Beijing dialect, and its librettos are composed according to a strict set of rules that prize form and rhyme. They tell stories of history, politics, society and daily life and aspire to inform as they entertain.

Colombia - Marimba music and traditional chants from Colombia’s South Pacific - Marimba music and traditional chants of Colombia’s South Pacific region are the heritage of Afro-Colombian groups in the departments of Valle del Cauca, Cauca and Nariño. Chanting by women and men (cantadoras and chureadores) blends with acoustic instruments, handcrafted using local materials: palm-wood Marimbas, wooden and leather bass and hand drums, and bamboo and seed rattles. This music is performed principally during four rituals: Arrullo, Currulao, Chigualo and Alabao.

Colombia -The Wayuu normative system, applied by the Pütchipü’üi (palabrero) - The Wayuu community inhabits the Guajira Peninsula straddling Colombia and Venezuela. Its legislative system comprises a body of principles, procedures and rites that govern the social and spiritual conduct of the community. The system, inspired by principles of reparation and compensation, is applied by the local moral authorities, the Pütchipü’üi or palabreros (orators), who are experts in resolving conflicts and disputes between the local matrilineal clans.

Croatia - Gingerbread craft from Northern Croatia - The tradition of gingerbread making appeared in certain European monasteries during the Middle Ages and came to Croatia where it became a craft. Gingerbread craftspeople, who also made honey and candles, worked in the area of Northern Croatia. The process of making gingerbread requires skill and speed. The recipe is the same for all makers, utilizing flour, sugar, water and baking soda – plus the obligatory spices.

Czech Republic - Shrovetide door-to-door processions and masks in the villages of the Hlinecko area  - The Shrovetide processions take place in the town of Hlinsko and six nearby villages in the Hlinecko area of Eastern Bohemia in the Czech Republic. This popular carnival custom takes place at the end of winter, during Shrovetide – the period just before the Christian Lent. Village men and boys, disguised in masks that depict traditional characters (red masks for boys and black for married men), go from door to door around the village, accompanied by a brass band.

France - Compagnonnage, network for on-the-job transmission of knowledge and identities - The French Compagnonnage system is a unique way of conveying knowledge and know-how linked to the trades that work with stone, wood, metal, leather, textiles and food. Its originality lies in its synthesis of varied methods and processes of transmitting knowledge: national and international educational travel (known as the ‘Tour de France’ period), initiation rituals, school-based teaching, customary learning and technical apprenticeship.

France - The craftsmanship of Alençon needle lace-making - The technique of point d’Alençon is a rare technique of needle lace-making, practised in the town of Alençon in Normandy in north-west France. Alençon needle lace is unusual because of the high level of craftsmanship required and the very long time that it takes to produce (seven hours per square centimetre). The pieces of openwork textile using the technique are used for decorative purposes in civil and religious life.

France - The gastronomic meal of the French - The gastronomic meal of the French is a customary social practice for celebrating important moments in the lives of individuals and groups, such as births, weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, achievements and reunions. It is a festive meal bringing people together for an occasion to enjoy the art of good eating and drinking. The gastronomic meal emphasizes togetherness, the pleasure of taste, and the balance between human beings and the products of nature.

    In order to be inscribed, the elements must comply with a series of criteria, including contributing to spreading the knowledge of intangible cultural heritage and promoting awareness of its importance. Nominees for the inscription must also justify protective measures taken to ensure their viability.
    The Committee is continuing its examination of the 47 nominations until the end of the day (16 November).


For more information


Video interview with Cécile Duvelle (UNESCO)

 Download videos of elements inscribed on Urgent Safeguarding list

Download videos of elements inscribed on Representative List


Press contacts, UNESCO Division of Public Information:

 Lucía Iglesias Kuntz

+ 33(0)6 07 84 26 76 /   l.iglesias(at)unesco.org;


Isabelle Le Fournis

+ 33(0)6 12 19 74 01 /  i.le-fournis(at)unesco.org

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