Building peace in the minds of men and women

Nine elements inscribed on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity

06 December 2017


© Monirul Masum

The Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage meeting in Jeju until 9 December, inscribed nine 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 tomorrow.

The titles of the newly inscribed elements below (in chronological order of inscription) lead to web pages with information, pictures and videos:

Saudi Arabia  - Al-Qatt Al-Asiri, female traditional interior wall decoration in Asir, Saudi Arabia

Al-Qatt Al-Asin, a female traditional interior wall decoration, is an art technique carried out by women in the community that involves decorating the interior walls, specifically in rooms for visiting guests. Nowadays, male and female artists, designers and architects also practise the element. The art enhances social bonding and solidarity among the female community, and its application in most households ensures its viability. Observation and practice are the key methods for transmitting knowledge and skills relating to the element.



Armenia  - Kochari, traditional group dance

Kochari is a traditional dance that is widely performed during holidays, festive celebrations and family ceremonies. It is open to all participants and provides a sense of shared identity, solidarity and mutual respect. Non-formal transmission occurs within families and from older to younger people, while methods of formal transmission include educational programmes in youth arts centres, regular dance classes held and institutional initiatives. Experienced practitioners play a key role in efforts to safeguard the element and ensure its viability.



Azerbaijan  - Dolma making and sharing tradition, a marker of cultural identity

The Dolma tradition relates to the preparation of the traditional meal ‘dolma’, which consists of small fillings wrapped in fresh or pre-cooked leaves or stuffed in fruits and vegetables. The meal is enjoyed on special occasions and gatherings, within families and local communities. The practice expresses solidarity, respect and hospitality. Communities are actively involved in safeguarding its viability through awareness-raising activities and it is transmitted primarily within families and vocational and apprenticeship schools.



Bangladesh  - Traditional art of Shital Pati weaving of Sylhet

Shital Pati is the traditional art of making a handcrafted mat by weaving together strips of a green cane known as ‘Murta’. It is used by people all over Bangladesh as a sitting mat, bedspread or prayer mat. Shital Pati is a major source of livelihood that reinforces family bonding and empowers communities. The craft is primarily transmitted from generation to generation within the family, and Shital Pati communities are increasingly being organized into cooperatives to ensure its effective safeguarding and transmission.



Bolivia (Plurinational State of) - Ritual journeys in La Paz during Alasita

During the ritual journeys in La Paz during Alasita, participants procure ‘good luck’ miniatures associated with Ekeko, the city’s beneficient god of fertility; this is followed by their consecration with Andean ritualists or their blessing by the Catholic Church. The practice promotes social cohesion and intergenerational transmission. Alasita rituals are primarily transmitted naturally within the family, and efforts to safeguard the practice, primarily by civil society, have been continuous. Museum exhibitions have increased awareness of the practice, and municipal contests encourage the production of the miniatures.



Bosnia and Herzegovina  - Konjic woodcarving

Konjic woodcarving is an artistic craft with a long tradition in the Konjic municipality. The woodcarvings – which include furniture, sophisticated interiors and small decorative objects – stand out for their recognizable hand-carved motifs and overall visual identity. The craft is a key part of the local community’s culture that forges a sense of community and belonging. It is primarily transmitted inter-generationally within the family and through on-the-job training in family-run woodcarving workshops, which train apprentice woodcarvers and help popularize the craft.



Bulgaria; The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia; Republic of Moldova; Romania - Cultural practices associated to the 1st of March

Cultural Practices Associated to the 1st of March comprise traditions to celebrate the beginning of spring. The main practice consists of wearing a red and white thread to ensure the safe, harmonious passage from winter to spring. All members of the communities concerned participate, and the practice contributes to social cohesion, interaction with nature, intergenerational exchange and creativity. Transmission is spontaneous and occurs through informal learning in families, neighbourhoods and workshops, as well as through dedicated school and museum programmes.



Côte d'Ivoire  - Zaouli, popular music and dance of the Guro communities in Côte d’Ivoire

Zaouli is a popular music and dance practised by the Guro communities of Côte d’Ivoire. A homage to feminine beauty, Zaouli is inspired by two masks: the Blou and the Djela. The practice combines sculpture, weaving, music and dance. Zaouli conveys the cultural identity of its bearers and promotes social cohesion and environmental preservation. Transmission occurs during musical performances and learning sessions and the viability of the practice is ensured, for example, through regular performances organized by the communities, as well as inter-village dance competitions and festivals.



Cuba - Punto

Punto is the poetry and music of Cuban agricultural workers, consisting of a tune or melody over which a person sings an improvised or learned stanza, based on a rhyming scheme. Punto is an essential element of Cuban cultural heritage that promotes dialogue and expresses the identity of the communities concerned. Knowledge and skills are transmitted primarily through imitation and via a teaching programme involving workshops delivered by bearers and practitioners of the element in Houses of Culture across the country.




The Committee is meeting at the International Convention Centre (ICC Jeju), Jeju Province, Republic of Korea

For more information and live webcast:


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Media contacts:

Lucía Iglesias Kuntz, UNESCO press service,  +33 (0) 6 80 24 07 29 or +82 010 55 26 37 52.

Agnès Bardon, UNESCO press service, +33 (0) 6 80 24 13 56.

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