» Five new inscriptions on the Intangible Heritage Representative List
27.11.2011 - UNESCOPRESS

Five new inscriptions on the Intangible Heritage Representative List

© Cámara de Comercio de Guadalajara -Mariachi, string music, song and trumpet (Mexico)

The Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of Intangible Heritage meeting in Bali (Indonesia) until 29 November, inscribed elements from Japan, Mali, Burkina Faso, Mexico, and Portugal on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity during its afternoon session today. This brings to 14 the number of new elements inscribed on the Representative List so far.

Mibu no Hana Taue, ritual of transplanting rice in Mibu, Hiroshima (Japan)

Mibu no Hana Taue is a Japanese agricultural ritual asking the rice deity to assure an abundant rice harvest. It takes place in two communities of Hiroshima Prefecture on the first Sunday of June after rice transplanting is completed. Villagers, cattle, an elder leader and colourfully dressed girls re-enact the stages of planting and transplanting a rice field specially reserved for this event. Participants sing accompanied by drums, flutes and small gongs. Transmission is ensured by the elders who also oversee the ritual’s smooth execution.

Sada Shin Noh, sacred dancing at Sada shrine, Shimane (Japan)

Sada Shin Noh comprises a series of purification dances as part of the ritual changing of the rush mats performed every year on 24 and 25 September at the Sada Shrine in Matsue City, Japan. Dancers hold the rush mats to purify them before offering them to the deities to sit upon. Diverse types of dance are performed on a stage specially constructed within the shrine, accompanied by singing, flute and drums. Sada Shin Noh is transmitted from generation to generation by the community.

Cultural practices and expressions linked to the balafon of the Senufo communities of Mali and Burkina Faso

The balafon of the Senufo communities of Mali and Burkina Faso is a pentatonic xylophone composed of eleven to twenty-one keys of varying lengths arranged on a trapezoidal frame with gourd resonators of varying sizes arranged beneath. Under the instruction of a teacher, one first learns to play a children’s balafon before advancing to full-size ones. Played solo or as part of an ensemble during festivities, prayers, work, funerals and more, the balafon is a symbol of community identity.

Mariachi, string music, song and trumpet (Mexico)

Mariachi is a traditional music and fundamental element of Mexican culture, transmitting values, heritage, history and different Indian languages. Traditional Mariachi ensembles include trumpets, violins, the vihuela and “guitarrón'' (bass guitar), and may have four or more musicians who wear regional costumes adapted from the charro costume. Modern Mariachi music includes a wide repertoire of songs from different regions of the country and musical genres. Musicians learn by ear from father to son and through performances at festive, religious and civil events.

Fado, urban popular song of Portugal

A symbol of identity, Fado music is widely sung in Lisbon and represents a distinctly Portuguese multicultural synthesis of Afro-Brazilian music, local genres of song and dance, rural music, and urban song patterns of the early nineteenth century. Fado is typically performed by a solo male or female singer, accompanied by an acoustic guitar and the Portuguese “guitarra'', a pear-shaped twelve-stringed lute. It is performed professionally and informally in grass-root associations and often transmitted over successive generations within the same families.

The Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage was adopted by UNESCO’s General Conference in 2003 and now includes 139 States Parties. Only those countries that have ratified the Convention are eligible to present items for inscription on the Intangible Cultural Heritage Lists.

The Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of Intangible Heritage comprises 24 UNESCO Member States, elected for a term of four years. Half the Committee is renewed every two years.



See the Intangible Heritage photo gallery

The entire session of the Committee is webcast here.

Information regarding all the nominations and experts’ recommendations can also be found on that website.

Follow the session via Twitter and Facebook.

TV broadcasters can download footage here.



Media Contacts:

In Bali :

Rasul Samadov

r.samadov(at)unesco.org; +62 812 46 57 89 47

Pierre Beaulne



In Paris :

Isabelle Le Fournis

i.le-fournis(at)unesco.org; +33 (0) 1 45 68 17 48

Broadcast media:

Carole Darmouni

c.darmouni@unesco.org; +33 (0) 1 45 68 17 38



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