25.11.2011 - UNESCOPRESS

Two new elements inscribed on the List of Intangible Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding and five best safeguarding practices selected

The Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of Intangible Heritage - taking place in Bali (Indonesia) from 22 to 29 November - today inscribed elements from the United Arab Emirates and Peru on the List of Intangible Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding and selected five new best safeguarding practices from Belgium, Brazil, Hungary and Spain.

Eshuva, Harákmbut sung prayers of Peru’s Huachipaire people: The Huachipaire are an indigenous ethnic group speaking the Harákmbut language and living in Peru’s southern Amazon tropical forest. The Eshuva or sung prayer is an expression of Huachipaire religious myths, performed for healing or as part of traditional ceremonies. According to oral tradition, the Eshuva songs were learned directly from the forest’s animals, and are sung to summon nature spirits to help to alleviate illness or discomfort or promote well-being. Performed without musical instruments Eshuva songs are sung only in the Harákmbut language.

Al Sadu, traditional weaving skills in the United Arab Emirates: Al Sadu is a traditional form of weaving practised by Bedouin women in rural communities of the United Arab Emirates to produce soft furnishings and decorative accessories for camels and horses. Bedouin men shear the sheep, camels and goats, and women gather in small groups to spin and weave, exchanging family news and occasionally chanting and reciting poetry. Girls learn by watching during these gatherings and are gradually given tasks to do, such as sorting the wool, before learning the more intricate skills involved.

Eleven of the 18 elements proposed for inscription on the List of Intangible Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding has been added to the List: Yaokwa, the Enawene Nawe people’s ritual for the maintenance of social and cosmic order (Brazil), Hezhen Yimakan storytelling (China) Saman dance (Indonesia), Traditional skills of building and sailing Iranian Lenj boats in the Persian Gulf (Islamic Republic of Iran), Naqqāli, Iranian dramatic story-telling (Islamic Republic of Iran), Secret society of the Kôrêdugaw, the rite of wisdom in Mali, The Moorish Epic T’heydinn (Mauritania), Folk long song performance technique of Limbe performances - circular breathing (Mongolia), Xoan singing of Phú Thọ Province (Viet Nam)

 The five best safeguarding practices selected are:

A programme of cultivating ludodiversity: safeguarding traditional games in Flanders (Belgium): Ludodiversity refers to the wide diversity in games, sports, physical exercises, dances and acrobatics. The non-governmental organization Sportimonium has taken measures to safeguard the heritage of games and sports in Flanders, Belgium, including shooting games, bowl games, throwing games and ball games. Safeguarding measures undertaken by Sportimonium include support to specialized and umbrella organizations, publications, festivals, demonstrations, exchanges of expertise, promotion activities, loan services providing people with traditional games equipment, and a Traditional Games Park. The basis for the programme is systematic documentation and research, whose results can be consulted in a documentation centre.

Call for projects of the National Programme of Intangible Heritage (Brazil): Each year, a national call for projects from the Programa Nacional de Patrimônio Imaterial (PNPI) encourages and supports safeguarding initiatives and practices proposed by Brazilian local government bodies or non-profit private organizations. The projects must involve the participation of the community and groups concerned, promote social inclusion and improvement of the life conditions of creators and bearers of such heritage, and respect individual and collective rights. The Intangible Heritage Department of IPHAN (National Historical and Artistic Heritage Institute) in Brasilia selects the projects, after evaluation by a national committee of specialists.

Fandango’s Living Museum (Brazil): The Caburé Cultural Association, a non-governmental organization, conceived Fandango’s Living Museum to promote safeguarding actions for fandango, a popular music and dance expression in coastal communities in southern and south-eastern Brazil. Approximately 300 local practitioners have participated in an open-air community museum and a circuit of visiting and exchanging experience, cultural and research centres, and places for selling local handicrafts. The museum promotes awareness-raising by organizing local performances, runs workshops with schoolteachers, publishes books and CDs, operates a website, and makes bibliographic and audiovisual collections available.

Táncház method: a Hungarian model for the transmission of intangible cultural heritage (Hungary): The Táncház (‘dance-house’) model of teaching folk dance and music combines traditional forms of acquisition with modern pedagogical and folkloristic methods. Anyone regardless of age, competence or prior exposure can become an active participant. The aim is to establish a value-based, community-building, entertaining yet educational form of recreational activity through the practice and transmission of intangible cultural heritage. An annual National Táncház Festival and Fair constitutes the largest meeting of bearers, mediators and enthusiasts, and workshops, camps, playhouses and handicraft clubs have also developed.

Revitalization of the traditional craftsmanship of lime-making in Morón de la Frontera, Seville, Andalusia (Spain): The traditional practice of lime-making was a source of employment for Morón de la Frontera and a marker of its identity, but the kilns fell into disuse and transmission of knowledge ceased. The Cultural Association of the Lime Kilns of Morón was established to raise awareness of the practice and importance of lime-making and to improve living conditions for craftspeople, and gave birth to an ethnographic centre and a living museum that displays the working process in situ and promotes transmission of techniques to new generations.

During the session, the Committee will also consider 39 items the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

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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