REPORT OF THE SUBSIDIARY BODY ON ITS WORK IN 2012 AND EXAMINATION OF NOMINATIONS FOR INSCRIPTION IN 2012 ON THE REPRESENTATIVE LIST OF THE INTANGIBLE CULTURAL HERITAGE OF HUMANITY
Decision 7.COM 11
The Chairperson returned to the proposed amendment by Grenada, reminding the Committee to have proposals ready should it decide to reverse a recommendation by the Subsidiary Body. However, although it had the capacity to change a conclusion, it could only do so on the basis of the information contained in the nomination file. Thus, clarifications were permitted when addressing specific aspects of the nomination, but on-the-spot additional information could not be considered. With regard to the file on Marches of Entre-Sambre-et-Meuse submitted by Belgium, it was noted that the evidence for R.3 was indeed contained in the nomination and was not the subject of additional information.
The delegation of Grenada began by thanking the Subsidiary Body for its meticulous work, as well as the delegations of Indonesia and Kyrgyzstan for their help in drafting the amendment. With regard to R.3, the delegation assured the Committee that the information was contained within the file, albeit not clearly defined for the Subsidiary Body to easily identify. Thus, current safeguarding measures existed in that the General Assembly of the Association of Traditional Marches defend and promote the marches and run a museum, there is a preliminary list of folklore events with 15 marches inventoried and a doctorate programme also exists in the University of Brussels. Finally, the file mentioned that the element is not under threat, though it did recognize that any threats would be linked to the success of the procession. Moreover, ‘authenticity’ was not a criterion within the Convention, while the association gave its assurance that new marches would be developed within the spirit of the tradition. The proposed amendment would thus read, ‘Current safeguarding measures are described and future measures such as museum projects, education work, research and publications, regulatory measures are proposed, aiming at mitigating the potentially harmful effects of the element’s inscription on the Representative List’.
The delegations of Nigeria and Indonesia supported the amendment.
The delegation of Burkina Faso remarked that the safeguarding measures were not limited to mitigating the effects of inscription, since they also ensured the safeguard of the element. The text as presented suggested that the safeguarding measures were aimed solely on the potential harmful effects of the element’s inscription. In this regard, the delegation proposed deleting the latter part of the amendment.
The delegations of Grenada and Indonesia approved the amendment. With no further comments or objections the sub-paragraphs 1-5 of paragraph 2 were adopted. Consequently, paragraph 3 would begin with ‘Decides to inscribe’.
With no further comments or objections, the Chairperson declared adopted Decision 7.COM 11.6 to inscribe Marches of Entre-Sambre-et-Meuseon the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
The delegation of Belgium thanked the Subsidiary Body and the Secretariat for their work, and the Committee members that supported the nomination, adding that it would have fully accepted the referral if that was the Committee’s wish. The delegation was delighted with the element’s inscription, as it conferred a sense of identity to the entire Wallon region that now sharing in the joy of having the element inscribed. Moreover, the element was not solely Wallon or Belgian as it could be part of a multinational file together with Austria, France, Switzerland and Italy that had similar military processions.
The Chairperson of the Subsidiary Bodythus presented the next nomination on Ichapekene Piesta, the biggest festival of San Ignacio de Moxos [draft decision 7.COM 11.7] submitted by Bolivia. Ichapekene Piesta reinterprets the Moxeño founder myth of the Jesuit victory of Ignacio de Loyola and melds it with indigenous beliefs and traditions. The festivities comprise firework displays, singing and celebrations of mass, funeral wakes, alms-giving and feasts. The main representation is the victory of Saint Ignatius and a main procession of participants disguised as masked ancestors and animals, reinforcing the importance of respect for nature and allowing the Moxeños to be reborn into the Christian tradition in the presence of the spirits of their ancestors. The Subsidiary Body found that the nomination satisfied criteria R.1, R.2, R.3 and R.4, but that criterion R.5 required additional information. It noted that the syncretic festival of Ichapekene Piesta demonstrated the harmonious coexistence of traditional and western cultural expressions that engage the communities in a dialogue. It also noted a number of proposed projects in 2013 to ensure that the celebrations are not undermined. With regard to R.4, the Subsidiary Body noted that a network of institutions and individuals supported the nomination and had been involved in its preparation. However, the Subsidiary Body found insufficient information in R.5 to conclude that Ichapekene Piesta is included in an inventory of intangible cultural heritage prepared with the participation of the communities, groups and NGOs concerned, and regularly updated. Moreover, the hyperlink presented in the nomination form was inactive. The Subsidiary Body therefore recommended a referral of the file to the submitting Party, which would enable it to provide the additional required information, adding that for the sake of consistency the decision was in keeping with past decisions when faced with the same situation vis-à-vis R.5.
The delegation of Brazilcommended Bolivia for its impressive nomination, and noted that the sole basis for the referral was the inactive hyperlink, adding that the element was undoubtedly registered in a national inventory. The delegation therefore sought clarification from the submitting State in this regard.
The delegation of Nicaragua reiterated the remarks by Brazil and sought confirmation from Bolivia that the element was indeed on a national inventory, particularly as it was well known that Bolivia possessed an excellent inventory.
The delegation of Peru congratulated Bolivia for the presentation of its valuable element, and thanked the Subsidiary Body for its evaluation. The delegation also wished to hear from the submitting State with regard to the inclusion of the element on a national inventory.
The delegation of Uruguay congratulated Bolivia for its nomination, noting that it demonstrated strong support from the communities. The delegation echoed the appeal by previous speakers to clarify the issue of the inventory, adding that it too had experienced problems with its website, which should not exclude the nomination from inscription.
The Chairpersonwas pleased to note the support of members within the same electoral group for Bolivia’s nomination, noting that the web malfunction appeared to be the basis for the Subsidiary Body’s decision to refer the file.
The delegation of Bolivia confirmed that there was indeed a technical problem with the hyperlink, adding that section 3 and 4.a of the safeguarding measures clearly stated the existence of national inventories with successive phases so as to introduce all the proposed safeguarding measures. Moreover, the inventory had been established since 1997, certified by the Ministry of Culture and was updated in 2002 and 2010.
The Chairperson turned to the draft decision on a paragraph-by-paragraph basis. There was no change to paragraph 1, which was duly adopted.
Noting that the functioning hyperlink had now unequivocally proved that the element was inscribed on a national inventory, the delegation of Brazil presented the Secretariat with an amendment to paragraph 2 with regard to R.5.
The Chairperson read out the proposed amendment: ‘By the initiative of the Moxeños, the element was registered on a national inventory of tangible and intangible heritage and certified by the Ministry of Culture in 2010’. The Chairperson noted support for the proposal from Uruguay, Peru, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Japan, Namibia, Tunisia and Morocco.
The delegation of Belgium suggested a minor correction ‘à l’initiative’ in the French version.
With no objections, the Chairperson pronounced adopted paragraph 2. Consequently, paragraph 3 was deleted, and the new paragraph slightly amended to, ‘Decides to inscribe’, which was duly adopted.
With no further comments or objections, the Chairperson declared adopted Decision 7.COM 11.7 to inscribe Ichapekene Piesta, the biggest festival of San Ignacio de Moxos on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
The delegation of Bolivia expressed gratitude to the Committee for its support.
The Chairperson welcomed the Minister of Culture for Brazil to the meeting.
The Chairperson of the Subsidiary Body presented the next nomination on Frevo, performing arts of the Carnival of Recife [draft decision 7.COM 11.8] submitted by Brazil. Frevo is a Brazilian artistic expression comprising music and dance, performed mainly during the Carnival of Recife. Its quick frenetic and vigorous rhythm draws upon the fusion of musical genres such as marching music, Brazilian tango, square dance, polka and pieces of classical repertoire, performed by martial bands and fanfares. The music is essentially urban, and like the accompanying dance ‘Passo’ is vigorous and subversive. The dance stems from the skill and agility of capoeira fighters who improvise leaps to the electrifying sound of steel orchestras and bands. The Subsidiary Body found that the nomination satisfied all the criteria. The Subsidiary Body noted that the Frevo was a very dynamic artistic expression, which although had changed over the years remained extremely important for the Carnival of Recife. It also appreciated the broad safeguarding measures included in the file, and particularly the commitment of the communities and the support of the State in its implementation. It believed that the inscription of the festive and inclusive element contributed towards the appreciation of humanity’s creativity. The Subsidiary Body therefore recommended the inscription of the element on the Representative List.
With no further comments or objections, the Chairperson declared adopted Decision 7.COM 11.8 to inscribe Frevo, performing arts of the Carnival of Recifeon the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
The delegation of Brazil expressed gratitude and thanks for the inscription of the element, adding that Frevo was one of the most traditional expressions of carnival in the country and that the Mayor of Recife was present to represent the northeast region. The delegation explained that Frevo originated from fevrer, meaning ‘to boil’, and represented the warm and effervescent character of the Brazilian people during the carnival as manifested in many artistic forms. The carnival has been performed for more than 100 years and was very popular as it represented diversity, tolerance and peaceful cooperation. The delegation spoke of cultural heritage as a critical element in the sustainable development of the nation, adding that Frevo would now be at the service of the Convention to promote international cooperation and exchange of experiences.
The Chairperson invited the participants to the cultural performances organized by Brazil the following day, and thanked the Minister and the Mayor for their presence.
The Chairperson of the Subsidiary Bodythus presented the next nomination on Festival of Saint Francis of Assisi, Quidbó [draft decision 7.COM 11.9] submitted by Colombia. Every year from September to October the twelve Franciscan districts of Quibdó hold the Fiesta de San Pacho, a celebration of the community’s Afro-descendant Chocó identity. It begins with the Catholic ‘Inaugural Mass’ blended with traditional dances and chirimía followed by a parade of carnival groups featuring costumes, dances and chirimía. Mass is held in the morning, while the floats and carnival groups parade in the afternoon. Towards the end, the patron saint travels the Atrato River in boats and people celebrate the dawn with devotional hymns and perform the Grand Procession of the Saint. The Subsidiary Body found that the nomination satisfied all the criteria. The nomination had clearly described the transmission of the tradition, as well as its social and cultural functions, and the bearers and their roles were clearly identified. The Subsidiary Body was impressed by the wide participation of the community in the elaboration of the file through a series of workshops, interviews and other consultations, while safeguarding measures were well balanced, and included awareness-raising, documentation and training, and institutional reinforcement. The Subsidiary Body therefore recommended the inscription of the element on the Representative List.
With no comments or objections, the Chairperson declared adopted Decision 7.COM 11.9 to inscribe Festival of Saint Francis of Assisi, Quidbóon the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
The delegation of Colombia expressed gratitude to the Committee for its recognition of the element, which was at the heart of the region’s cultural wealth. The delegation introduced the representatives present at the meeting who were in Paris to promote the element’s safeguard and could now share their cultural expressions with the world. The delegation assured the Committee of the State’s commitment towards safeguarding this unique element and its resolve to further promote this outstanding heritage. The representative of the community explained that the initial proposal dated from 1991, which recognized the unique multicultural nature of the country, while acknowledging the 2003 Convention ratified by Colombia in 2006.
The Chairperson welcomed the representatives of the community and congratulated Colombia on its well-prepared nomination.
The Chairperson of the Subsidiary Body presented the next nomination on Klapa multipart singing of Dalmatia, southern Croatia [draft decision 7.COM 11.10] submitted by Croatia. Klapa singing is a multipart singing tradition of Dalmatia. It features capella homophonic singing – an oral tradition of making simple music. The leader of each singing group is the first tenor, followed by several tenori, baritoni and basi voices. During performances, the singers stand in a tight semicircle. The first tenor starts the singing and is followed by the others. The main aim is to achieve the best possible blend of voices. Topics of Klapa songs usually deal with love, life situations, and the local environment. The Subsidiary Body found that the nomination satisfied all the criteria. It considered that the nomination reflected the importance of Klapa by the inhabitants of Dalmatia as it provided them with a sense of regional identity. It also noted the emphasis on transmission through formal and non-formal education, and the involvement of the community in the elaboration of the nomination file. The Subsidiary Body therefore recommended the inscription of the element on the Representative List.
With no comments or objections, the Chairperson declared adopted Decision 7.COM 11.10 to inscribe Klapa multipart singing of Dalmatia, southern Croatiaon the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
On behalf of the Ministry of Culture, the UNESCO Commission and Klapa singers the delegation of Croatia thanked the Committee, the Secretariat and the Subsidiary Body for their recognition and the inscription of the element, which was the pride and joy of the Croatian people.
[Performance of Klapa chant]
Noting the withdrawal of Cuba, the Chairperson of the Subsidiary Body presented the next nomination on Traditional weaving of the Ecuadorian toquilla straw hat [draft decision 7.COM 11.12] submitted by Ecuador. The toquilla straw hat is woven from fibres from a palm tree characteristic of the Ecuadorian coast. Coastal farmers cultivate the toquillales and harvest the stems used to weave the hats. The transmission of weaving techniques occurs within the home from an early age through observation and imitation. The use of the hat as part of everyday clothing and in festive contexts represents a distinctive mark of these communities. Weaving a hat can take from one day to eight months, depending on the quality and its finesse. The Subsidiary Body found that the nomination satisfied all the criteria. It took note of how the traditional weaving of toquilla constituted a craftsmanship handed down from generation to generation within the communities. It also appreciated that the practices associated with the bearers provided the communities with a sense of identity and cultural continuity that served as a reference for social cohesion between the different groups living in coastal and Andean Ecuador. In addition, the nomination contained a detailed series of safeguard measures targeting the transmission of knowledge to new generations, but also included research, revitalization, dissemination, and the promotion and development of traditional weaving.
With no comments or objections, the Chairperson declared adopted Decision 7.COM 11.12 to inscribe Traditional weaving of the Ecuadorian toquilla straw haton the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
The delegation of Ecuador spoke of the many archaeological traces of traditional weaving of the toquilla during the pre-Columbian period, with the current indigenous communities using original techniques from Toque in Spain, which was later translated as toquilla to describe the fibre itself. The technique is deeply rooted in Ecuador, particularly in the coastal regions and describes complex figures of eight, with the members of the household learning the techniques at an early age through observation. The delegation explained that the strategic safeguarding plan was detailed and comprehensive so as to enable the tradition to continue and thrive, and it thanked the weaving communities for their patience and commitment.
The Chairperson of the Subsidiary Body presented the next nomination on Fest-Noz, festive gathering based on the collective practice of traditional dances of Brittany [draft decision 7.COM 11.13] submitted by France. Fest-Noz is a festive gathering based on the collective practice of traditional Breton dances, accompanied by singing or instrumental music. The strong Breton cultural movement has preserved this expression of a living and constantly renewed practice of inherited dance repertoires with several hundred variations, and thousands of tunes. The Fest-Noz is characterized by an intense camaraderie among the singers, musicians and dancers, significant social and intergenerational diversity, and openness to others. It is at the centre of an intense ferment of musical experiences and has spawned a veritable cultural economy. The Subsidiary Body found that the nomination satisfied all the criteria. It appreciated the direct participation of the entire Breton community in the nomination process and in identifying safeguarding measures, as well as its commitment to the transmission of knowledge of this artistic expression, which is particularly important in terms of local identity. The file also demonstrated safeguarding measures aimed at strengthening transmission within the community, as well as measures for its documentation and promotion, and formal education. The Subsidiary Body therefore recommended the inscription of the element on the Representative List.
With no comments or objections, the Chairperson declared adopted Decision 7.COM 11.13 to inscribe Fest-Noz, festive gathering based on the collective practice of traditional dances of Brittanyon the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
Thanking the Committee for its decision, the delegation of France spoke of the exemplary work led by the association and supported by the local council and the State in the spirit of the Convention. The delegation spoke of the element as alive. On behalf of the thousands of people who supported the nomination, a representative of the working group that prepared the nomination file spoke of his appreciation and gratitude to the Subsidiary Body and the Secretariat for their work, with a special mention of the French delegation for their assistance and support. He dedicated the inscription to the people of Brittany (bearers, researchers, practitioners) for contributing towards the vitality of the element.
The Chairperson of the Subsidiary Body presented the next nomination on Know-how of cultivating mastic on the island of Chios [draft decision 7.COM 11.14] submitted by Greece. Mastic is an aromatic resin cultivated in 24 villages on the island of Chios in the Aegean Sea. Traditional cultivation relies upon mutual assistance practices that provide an opportunity to recount old tales and stories and renew social ties and networks. Mastic culture remains a living tradition thanks to the persistence of older farmers in using traditional methods and the active involvement of young people introduced to the techniques through oral apprenticeship from experienced producers. The Subsidiary Body found that the nomination satisfied criteria R.1, R.2 and R.4, but that criterion R.3 and R.5 required additional information. It particularly appreciated the emphasis on the meaning and symbolism of the element, as well as the relationship between the bearers and their work, the community and its environment. However, in criterion R.3, although the safeguarding measures were clearly identified, the State’s commitment to the measures was unclear, as was how the communities were involved in their implementation. In addition, the Subsidiary Body was concerned about the possibility that inscription may primarily serve commercial purposes. With regard to criterion R.5, the Subsidiary Body found no information pertaining to the inclusion of the element on an inventory of intangible cultural heritage, and how it had been elaborated. There were indications of intentions to develop an inventory, but no direct assertion that the element was currently included. The Subsidiary Body therefore recommended a referral of the file to the submitting Party, which would enable it to provide the additional required information.
Referring to the safeguarding plan, the delegation of Belgium remarked on the summer fires on the island that destroyed the woods, harvests and the crops of domestic culture, and sought more information in the revised file on the safeguarding measures dealing with such disasters. The delegation considered that the file might best be submitted to the Urgent Safeguarding List.
Congratulating Greece on its very interesting file, the delegation of