Five elements added to the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity

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Spanish riding school
© ASAblanca.com/René Van Bakel

Windhoek, 2 December—The Committee for the safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage meeting in Namibia until 4 December, this morning inscribed five new elements on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

The Representative List includes forms of expression that testify to the diversity of the intangible heritage and raise awareness of its importance. The review of nominations for inscription on this list will continue this afternoon.

The following elements were inscribed during today’s morning session:

Austria - Classical horsemanship and the High School of the Spanish Riding School Vienna

Classical horsemanship at the Spanish Riding School Vienna is the traditional art and practice of breeding, raising, training and riding Lipizzaner horses. The School’s social practices, ceremonies and rituals reflect the relationships of long standing between breeders, grooms, craftspeople, riders and horses. Knowledge of horse husbandry and use of equipment is transmitted to cadets by grooms and experienced riders. The tradition gives communities within the School a sense of identity and ensures the safeguarding of techniques relating to horse husbandry. 

Azerbaijan - Copper craftsmanship of Lahij

Copper craftsmanship of Lahij is the traditional practice of making and using copperware in the Lahij community of the Caucasus. The copper-smelting master prepares the copper then the coppersmith-hammerer moulds it into thin plates. A craftsperson engraves the plates with designs that represent their environment and reflect traditional knowledge and values. People from Azerbaijan buy the copperware for daily use. The practice is transmitted from father to son and said to be a clear marker of Lahij identity. 

Bulgaria - Surova folk feast in Pernik region

The Surova folk feast, held in villages of the Pernik region, takes place on 13 and 14 January to celebrate the New Year. At night, a masquerade group called the Survakari performs in the centre, featuring characters like the newly-weds, the priest and the bear who visit homes the next day to ‘marry’ young couples and ‘maul’ people for good health. A meal is offered and donations collected for the needy. All ages participate, particularly young people, building their self-esteem as bearers of the tradition. 

Cambodia, Philippines, Republic of Korea and Viet Nam – Tugging rituals and games

Tugging rituals and games in the rice-farming cultures of East Asia and Southeast Asia are enacted among communities to ensure abundant harvests and prosperity. They mark the start of the agricultural cycle and often begin with commemorative rites to local deities. Typically held near a communal house or shrine, two teams on either end of a rope try to tug it from the other. The practice is non-competitive, strengthening community solidarity and identity. Elders lead young people and the rituals. 

Colombia and Ecuador - Marimba music, traditional chants and dances from Colombia’s South Pacific region and Equador's Esmeraldas Province

Marimba music and traditional chants and dances are considered integral to the community fabric of people of African descent in the Colombian South Pacific region and Esmeraldas Province of Ecuador. The music is played on the xylophone, drums and maracas and the chanted stories and poems are accompanied by dance performed at ritual, religious and festive events to celebrate life, worship saints or bid farewell to the deceased. The community is the bearer and practitioner of these expressions enhancing group identity and belonging. Marimba was first inscribed by Colombia in 2010 and is now extended to include Ecuador complementing the previous inscription. 

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B-rolls of inscribed elements

Webcast : http://www.unesco.org/culture/ich/

An information kit on the session contains facts and figures, frequently asked questions, information on proposed candidates and suggested contacts for interviews is available here:

See also: http://www.unesco.org/culture/ich/en/10com

Contact: Lucía Iglesias Kuntz l.iglesias(at)unesco.org, +264818000472 / +33 (0) 680240729