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Traditional dances, crafts, knowledge and music on the agenda at Intangible Heritage Committee meeting in Namibia

The Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage will convene from 29 November until 4 December in Windhoek, Namibia, under the chair of Trudie Amulungu (Namibia).

The representatives of 24 States Parties to the UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage who form the Committee will review evens nominations for inscription on the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding, as well as 34 nominations for inscription on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

The Committee will also examine a range of 12 ethical principles to be considered in safeguarding intangible heritage. Their goal is to prevent disrespect and misappropriation—be it moral, legal or commercial—of intangible cultural heritage. They recognize the importance of ensuring the free and informed prior consent of local communities, respecting the rights of those concerned to full and equitable participation in any process, project or activity that may affect them, and acknowledging the crucial role of communities in maintaining and managing their culture and heritage.

The List in Need of Urgent Safeguarding features intangible heritage elements whose viability is at risk and whose safeguarding is regarded as a matter of urgency. It numbers 38 elements to date and enables States Parties to the Convention to mobilize international cooperation and assistance to ensure the transmission of these cultural practices with the participation of the communities concerned.

This year’s seven nominations for inscription on the List in Need of Urgent Safeguarding are:

  • Colombia - Traditional Vallenato music of the Greater Magdalena region
  • Egypt - Traditional hand puppetry
  • Iran (Islamic Republic of) - Traditional knowledge and skills of constructing Baadgirs (wind catchers)
  • Mongolia - Coaxing ritual for camels
  • Portugal - Manufacture of cowbells
  • The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia - Glasoechko, male two-part singing in Dolni Polog
  • Uganda - Koogere oral tradition of the Basongora, Banyabindi and Batooro peoples

The Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity numbers 314 elements to date. It aims to enhance the visibility of communities’ traditions and knowledge without recognizing standards of excellence or exclusivity.

The nominations for 2015 for the Representative List of the Intangible Heritage of Humanity are: 

  • Afghanistan - Attan
  • Algeria - Sbuâ, annual pilgrimage to the zawiya of Sidi El Hadj Belkacem in Gourara
  • Andorra; Spain; France - Summer solstice fire festivals in the Pyrenees
  • Argentina - Filete porteño in Buenos Aires, a traditional painting technique
  • Armenia - Kochari, traditional group dance
  • Austria - Classical horsemanship and the High School of the Spanish Riding School Vienna
  • Azerbaijan - Copper craftsmanship of Lahij
  • Bangladesh - Jatra traditional performing arts
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina - Konjic woodcarving
  • Bulgaria - Surova folk feast in Pernik region
  • Bulgaria; The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia; Republic of Moldova; Romania - Cultural practices associated to the first of March
  • Cambodia; Philippines; Republic of Korea; Viet Nam - Tugging rituals and games
  • Colombia; Ecuador - Marimba music, traditional chants and dances from Colombia’s South Pacific region and Equador's Esmeraldas Province
  • Democratic People’s Republic of Korea - Tradition of kimchi-making
  • Dominican Republic - Son
  • Ethiopia - Fichee-Chambalaalla, New Year festival of the Sidama people
  • Greece - Tinian marble craftsmanship
  • Indonesia - Three genres of traditional dance in Bali
  • Italy - Celebration of the Celestine Pardon
  • Kazakhstan; Kyrgyzstan - Aitysh/Aitys, art of improvisation
  • Kyrgyzstan - Kok-boru, traditional horse game
  • Namibia - Oshituthi shomagongo, marula fruit festival
  • Nigeria - Eyo masquerade festival
  • Peru - Wititi dance of the Colca Valley
  • Romania - Lad's dances in Romania
  • Saudi Arabia - Alardah Alnajdiyah, dance, drumming and poetry in Saudi Arabia
  • Slovakia - Bagpipe culture
  • Tajikistan - Art of Chakan embroidery in Kulob
  • Turkmenistan - Epic art of Gorogly
  • United Arab Emirates; Oman - Al-Razfa, a traditional performing art
  • United Arab Emirates; Saudi Arabia; Oman; Qatar - Majlis, a cultural and social space
  • United Arab Emirates; Saudi Arabia; Oman; Qatar - Arabic coffee, a symbol of generosity
  • Uzbekistan - Ropewalking
  • Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of) - Traditional knowledge and technologies relating to the growing and processing of the Curagua

The Committee Meeting will take place at Windhoek Country Club and Resort, B1 Western Bypass, Windhoek South, Namibia.

Journalists wishing to cover the proceedings of the Committee are invited to register online at: http://www.unesco.org/culture/ich/en/registration-00789

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

Live broadcast: http://www.unesco.org/culture/ich/

A forum for NGOs that are dedicated to the safeguarding of intangible heritage and accredited par UNESCO will be held on 29 November from 9.30 a.m. until 4.00 p.m. For more information, visit: http://www.ichngoforum.org/

Contact: Lucía Iglesias Kuntz: l.iglesias@unesco.org  Tel: +33 (0)145681702 ; +33(0) 680240729