Intergovernmental Committee inscribes five cultural practices on UNESCO"s Representative List of Intangible Heritage



Release Date

Thursday, December 12, 2019


The Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage meeting in the Colombian capital on Wednesday afternoon added five more elements to the Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Inscriptions are scheduled to continue tomorrow. 

Elements inscribed on Wednesday afternoon:

Music and dance of Dominican BachataDominican Republic
The music and dance of Dominican Bachata combines rhythmic bolero music with other Afro-Antillean genres. In general, the lyrics express heartfelt love, passion and nostalgia. Bachata is traditionally performed by a small group of musicians with the guitar as lead instrument, along with percussion accompanied by a bass instrument. The dance is passionate involving sensual hip movements by couples who perform it at all traditional celebrations in the Dominican Republic. Bachata is learnt spontaneously from a young age.

Ethiopian epiphanyEthiopia
Ethiopian Epiphany is a colourful festival celebrated all over Ethiopia to commemorate the baptism of Jesus Christ. The commemoration starts on the eve of the main festival, when people escort their parish church tabot, a representation of the Tables of the Law, to a pool, river or artificial reservoir. Celebrants then attend night-long prayers and hymn services, before taking part in the actual festival the following day, when each tabot is transported back to its church. The Ethiopian Epiphany is a religious and cultural festival whose viability is ensured through continuous practice and the pivotal contribution of the Orthodox clergy.

AlpinismFrance; Italy; Switzerland
Alpinism is the art of climbing summits and walls in high mountains, in rocky or icy terrain. It requires physical, technical and intellectual abilities, and is characterized by a shared culture familiar with high-mountain environments, the history of climbing and associated values. Alpinism also involves knowledge of the natural environment and a strong team spirit. Most community members belong to alpine clubs, which act as a driving force for alpinist culture. All three countries are committed to fostering relationships through frequent bilateral or trilateral meetings.

Traditional skills of crafting and playing DotārIran (Islamic Republic of)
The traditional skills of crafting and playing the DotƒÅr – a two-string plucked folk instrument – are one of the most prominent social and cultural components of the folkloric music of the ethnic groups and communities of the DotƒÅr regions. Performers play the DotƒÅr on key social and cultural occasions such as weddings and ritual ceremonies, as well as in festivals. The DotƒÅr is performed along with epic, historical, lyric and gnostic texts that are central to the ethnic history and identity of practitioners’ communities.

Artisanal talavera of Puebla and Tlaxcala (Mexico) and ceramics of Talavera de la Reina and El Puente del Arzobispo (Spain) making process, Mexico, Spain
The making processes associated with the artisanal talavera in Mexico and ceramics in Spain are identified with two communities in each country. Despite changes over time – including the use of electric potter’s wheels – the artisanal processes closely resemble those of the 16th century. Key skills include preparing the clay, making the earthenware using a potter’s wheel or cast, decorating, preparing pigments and glazing and tending the kiln. Related knowledge and skills are mostly borne by master earthenware artisans and ceramists, who transmit them to the next generation in their workshops or families.

The Representative List seeks to enhance visibility for the traditional practices and know-how of communities without recognizing standards of excellence or exclusivity.

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