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Seven New Elements Inscribed on UNESCO’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity


The Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, meeting at UNESCO Headquarters until 7 December, inscribed seven elements on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. The new inscriptions come from: Oman, Romania, Spain, Turkey, Venezuela and Viet Nam. The Committee also extended the 2010 multinational inscription of falconry to include Austria and Hungary, which join Saudi Arabia, Belgium, the United Arab Emirates, Spain, France, Morocco, Mongolia, Qatar, Syria, the Republic of Korea and the Czech Republic.

The new inscriptions are:

Craftsmanship of Horezu ceramics, Romania

Horezu ceramics are a unique traditional craft, handmade in Vâlcea County, Romania. The potters select and extract the earth, which is then cleaned, cut, watered, kneaded, trampled and mixed – transforming it into a clay body from which they produce a red pottery. Each object is shaped with a special finger technique, decorated with traditional motifs in vivid shades, and then fired. The potters rely on traditional tools: mixers, potter’s wheels, combs, tools for decoration and wood-burning stoves.

Fiesta of the patios in Cordova, Spain

For twelve days in May, the city of Cordova celebrates the Fiesta of the Patios. The patio houses are a characteristic communal cultural space located in the city’s historical quarter. They boast an abundant array of plants, and during the fiesta inhabitants welcome all visitors to share in their beauty and the skill involved in their creation. The patios host traditional singing, flamenco guitar and dancing, and ancestral practices of sustainable communal coexistence are shared with visitors through expressions of affection and shared food and drink.

Mesir Macunu festival, Turkey

The Mesir Macunu festival of Manisa, Turkey, commemorates the recovery of the mother of Suleiman the Magnificent from a disease cured by a paste known as mesir macunu. Every March, the paste is prepared, wrapped, blessed and scattered from the domes of the Sultan Mosque. Thousands of people come from different regions of Turkey to compete to catch the pieces as they fall. Many believe that by so doing their wishes for marriage, work and children will come true within the year.

Falconry, a living human heritage, United Arab Emirates - Austria - Belgium - Czech Republic - France - Hungary - Republic of Korea - Mongolia - Morocco - Qatar - Saudi Arabia - Spain - Syrian Arab Republic

Falconry is the traditional activity of keeping and training falcons to take quarry in its natural state. It is practised in many countries worldwide. Originally a way of obtaining food, falconry is today identified with camaraderie and sharing. Falconry is mainly found along migration flyways and corridors, and is practised by amateurs and professionals of all ages and genders. Falconers develop a strong relationship and spiritual bond with their birds, and commitment is required to breed, train, handle and fly the falcons.

Al-Taghrooda, traditional Bedouin chanted poetry in the United Arab Emirates and the Sultanate of Oman, Oman

Al-Taghrooda traditional Bedouin chanted poetry is composed and recited by men travelling on camelback through desert areas of the United Arab Emirates and Oman. Short poems are improvised and repeated between two groups of riders often as antiphonal singing. The most important aspect is the social bonding during the oral exchange of verses. Al-Taghrooda is also chanted at weddings and other festivities, particularly camel races. Its themes range from romantic love, friendship, praise of tribal ties, aspirations to the settlement of disputes and contemporary themes.

Venezuela’s Dancing Devils of Corpus Christi, Venezuela

During the annual celebrations of the Feast of Corpus Christi in the small communities of the central coast of Venezuela, dancers disguised as masked devils dance backwards in penitence as an official of the Catholic Church carries forth the Blessed Sacrament. At the climax of the celebration the devils surrender to the Sacrament symbolizing the triumph of good over evil. The dancers or ‘’promeseros’’ (promise-keepers) are lifelong members of a confraternity that transmit the historical memory and ancestral traditions of the communities.

Worship of Hůng kings in Phú Thọ, Viet Nam

Pilgrims converge every year on the Hůng temple at Nghĩa Lĩnh mountain in Phú Thọ province to commemorate their ancestors and pray for good weather, abundant harvests, good luck and good health. The important Ancestral Anniversary festival is celebrated for one week during the third lunar month. Local villagers dress in splendid costumes and compete to provide the best palanquin and most highly valued objects of worship. Communities make rice-based delicacies and enact verbal and folk arts performances, bronze drum beating, Xoan singing, prayers and petitions.

Twenty elements were added to the Representative List on 6 December bringing to 27 the total number of this year’s inscriptions (New elements inscribed, 1, New elements inscribed, 2).

The Representative List covers cultural expressions which are testimony to the diversity of intangible heritage. It is designed to help raise awareness of the importance of this heritage.


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