Chairperson read out the amendment submitted by Brazil: ‘The proposed safeguarding measures aim at awareness raising regarding the temporal and spatial features of the Qālišuyān providing the ground for active participation of the local community and guaranteeing the recreation of the element in response to the changing requirements of its surroundings’. In order to ensure the credibility of recommendations, the Chairperson asked Brazil to point out the precise reference in the nomination form.
On a procedural matter, the delegation of Belgium drew attention to the fact that many members of the Subsidiary Body were not participating in the present debate, wondering how this affected the decisions.
The Chairperson conceded that the situation was not ideal, but that the Subsidiary Body had already undergone its evaluation and could not now open discussions on its own decisions. The delegation of Belgium recalled that members of the Subsidiary Body were given the opportunity to speak in Bali.
The Legal Adviser explained that members of the Subsidiary Body complete their mission upon presentation of its report to the Committee and could therefore speak as Committee members, but not as members of the Subsidiary Body. The Committee’s task was therefore to decide on the recommendations already formulated by the Subsidiary Body, which had the freedom to express its opinions. The Legal Adviser further explained that he could not intervene should a country representative change its position. The Legal Adviser returned to the remark by the Chairperson with regard to Brazil’s amendment and its specific reference in the nomination form, explaining that it was the Committee’s prerogative to decide on any discrepancies in the interpretation of text between the Subsidiary Body and the Committee based on clarifications provided on the authenticity of the information given by the submitting State.
The delegation of Brazil drew attention to section 3.a.(i) that explained the manner of the element’s recreation and the institutions involved in the safeguarding measures.
The delegation of Indonesia drew attention to the 19 points of the safeguarding plan under section 3.b., and therefore supported Brazil’s proposal.
The delegation of Czech Republic believed that nomination files should be treated on a case-by-case basis, adding that referrals allowed submitting States to improve their publically visible files, as highlighted by the Subsidiary Body.
The delegation of Belgium supported the Subsidiary Body’s interpretation of the file.
The Chairperson noted support for Brazil’s proposal from Nicaragua, China, Uruguay, Peru, Uganda, Tunisia, Japan, Egypt, Greece and Azerbaijan, which accounted for a majority 14 delegations in favour of the proposal. With no further comments of objections, sub-paragraph 3 was adopted as amended. With no change to sub-paragraphs 4 and 5, they were duly adopted. Consequently, paragraph 3 was deleted and replaced by paragraph 4 (becoming the new paragraph 3), which was amended to ‘inscribe’ the nomination. With no objections, amended paragraph 3 was duly adopted.
With no further comments or objections, the Chairperson declared adopted Decision 7.COM 11.17 to inscribe Qālišuyān rituals of Mašhad-e Ardehāl in Kāšānon the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
The delegation of the Islamic Republic of Iran expressed sincere thanks to the Subsidiary Body, the Secretariat, and the Committee for their work and their decision to inscribe the element, which would delight the thousands of practitioners, the local communities and the entire nation. The delegation spoke of the eagerness with which the communities and visitors celebrated the annual rituals, and having ratified the Convention in 2006, was happy to note that its tenth inscription occurred on the 10th anniversary of the Convention. It spoke of its commitment to safeguarding the element, adding that it appreciated the concerns raised by the Subsidiary Body.
The Chairperson of the Subsidiary Body presented the next nomination on Traditional violin craftsmanship in Cremona [draft decision 7.COM 11.18] submitted by Italy. Cremonese violin craftsmanship is highly renowned for its traditional process of fashioning and restoring violins, violas, cellos and contrabasses. Each violin-maker constructs from three to six instruments per year, shaping and assembling more than 70 pieces of wood around an inner mould by hand, according to the different acoustic response of each piece. Every part of the instrument is made with a specific wood demanding a high level of creativity; the craftsperson has to adapt the techniques and personal knowledge to every instrument. Cremonese violin-making is considered fundamental to the identity of Cremona’s citizens, and plays a fundamental role in its social and cultural practices. The Subsidiary Body found that the nomination satisfied all the criteria. The nomination clearly demonstrated how the traditional skills of violin craftsmanship play an important role in the daily life of the population of Cremona by providing a deep sense of identity. The Subsidiary Body noted the emphasis on the transmission of know-how by all means possible, including through formal institutions and informal methods such as apprenticeships. It also noted the active participation of the community of violin-makers, organizations and stakeholders, including the State, throughout the nomination process. 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 11.18 to inscribe Traditional violin craftsmanship in Cremonaon the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
The delegation of Italy thanked the Chairperson of the Subsidiary Body for his report, and the Committee for its decision to inscribe the element. The delegation spoke of the centuries-old tradition of violin-making as having strong links between the master and apprentice whose inter-generational dialogue would ensure the safeguard of the element. The community fully believed that the inscription of the element would contribute towards increasing awareness of the craft.
The Chairperson of the Subsidiary Body presented the next nomination on Nachi no Dengaku, a religious performing art held at the Nachi fire festival [draft decision 7.COM 11.19] submitted by Japan. Nachi no Dengaku is a Japanese folk performing art performed inside the Kumano Nachi Shrine during the annual Nachi Fire Festival. It is a key component of the festival and takes the form of ritual dancing to flute music and drums for an abundant harvest of rice crops. It is performed by one flute player, four drummers, four players of Binzasara, a musical string instrument, and two other musicians. There are 22 repertoires, each performed in 45 minutes. The Subsidiary Body found that the nomination satisfied criteria R.2, R.3, R.4 and R.5, but that criterion R.1 required additional information. It found that the way Nachi no Dengaku is transmitted from generation to generation could serve to raise awareness of the importance of intangible cultural heritage. The Subsidiary Body also highlighted the important role of the Association for the Preservation of Nachi Dengaku, which in cooperation with local and national authorities, had participated throughout the nomination process and contributed to the preservation of the practice. However, it found that the description provided by the submitting State in criterion R.1 did not enable it to understand the social function of the element vis-à-vis the bearers. In particular, it had difficulty understanding the relationship or distinction between the ritual dance and the fire festival. The significance of the dance itself was also unclear. A clearer delineation of the scope and nature of the practice, as well as information on its social meanings were needed. The Subsidiary Body therefore recommended a referral of the file to the submitting Party, which would enable it to provide the additional required information.
The delegation of Belgium found the nomination to be clear in its presentation of R.1, and wondered about the specific additional information required by the Subsidiary Body.
The Chairperson of the Subsidiary Body found that the information was not sufficiently clear on the difference between the ritual dance and the fire festival; the dance appearing to play an integral part of the fire festival. Additionally, there was insufficient information to enable the Subsidiary Body to determine the scope and nature of the practice, as it portrayed as a symbolic activity to ensure a successful harvest. However, it did believe the practice to be an element of intangible cultural heritage, but that it lacked information to completely satisfy criterion R.1.
The delegation of Azerbaijan concurred with Belgium that the information necessary to satisfy R.1 was contained in the nomination form, especially with regard to the nature and social functions of the element.
The delegation of Uruguay believed R.1 to be satisfied in that the element was obviously an important artistic practice, adding that the submitting State should clarify if required.
The delegation of Kyrgyzstan suggested that there was perhaps insufficient information on the Nachi fire festival, but not on the Nachi no Dengaku dance, which was the subject of the nomination. Thus, it supported the position expressed by Belgium and Azerbaijan, and recommended its inscription on the Representative List.
The delegation of Nigeria also held that there was sufficient information to inscribe the element.
The delegation of Nicaragua also found that there was sufficient information, suggesting the submitting State clarify the points to allay any concerns.
The delegation of China found surprising that this was the first element not to satisfy R.1, given the experience of Japan in submitting nominations, and shared the sentiment expressed by Belgium and others that R.1 was satisfied.
The Chairperson turned to paragraph 1 of the draft decision, which was duly adopted. The delegation of Kyrgyzstan proposed an amendment in R.1, which read: ‘Transmitted from generation to generation, Nachi no Dengaku is performed as an essential ritual dancing for praying for an abundant harvest in the Nachi area and gives its community a sense of identity and continuity while promoting values of social and cultural cohesion and integration’.
The Chairperson noted support for the amendment from Indonesia, Azerbaijan, Nigeria, Uruguay, Greece, Madagascar, Brazil, Egypt, Namibia, Tunisia and Morocco.
The delegation of Grenada asked that the French and English versions be aligned.
With no objections, the Chairperson pronounced sub-paragraph R.1 adopted. With no changes to sub-paragraphs 2–5, they were duly adopted. Consequently, the previous paragraph 3 was deleted, with an amendment to paragraph 4 [new paragraph 3] that ‘decides to inscribe’ the element. Paragraph 3 as amended was thus adopted.
With no further comments or objections, the Chairperson declared adopted Decision 7.COM 11.19 to inscribe Nachi no Dengaku, a religious performing art held at the Nachi fire festivalon the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
The delegation of Japan expressed sincere thanks to the Committee, the Subsidiary Body, and the Secretariat for their careful examination of the nomination file and the inscription of the element. The delegation remarked that inscription would encourage the community concerned to make further efforts to transmit the practice to the next generation and promote dialogue with other communities, adding that this represented a bright future to the communities still recovering from the devastating effects of the typhoon in 2011.
The Chairperson of the Subsidiary Body presented the next nomination on Coming forth of the masks and puppets in Markala [draft decision 7.COM 11.20] submitted by Mali. The coming forth of the masks and puppets is an important event in Markala and neighbouring villages. The tradition takes place in the public square during the dry season with dancers and masked puppeteers performing on stage in traditional dress to the rhythm of drumbeats and singing in chorus. The tradition celebrates the end of the harvest, greets the period of individual and collective fishing, and strengthens social cohesion. Novices are initiated in the tradition during sacred ceremonies that precede the performance. The Subsidiary Body found that the nomination satisfied criteria R.2, R.3 and R.5, but that criterion R.1 and R.4 required additional information. In criterion R.1, it encountered the same issue as with the previous nomination; while it acknowledged the importance of the event in the local community, it was difficult to clearly determine the subject of the inscription, i.e. was it the masks and puppets, the performance itself, or the sacred ritual associated with their use. The Subsidiary Body also sought a more precise identification of the communities concerned by the different components. With regard to criterion R.4, it noted that the nomination contained a statement affirming that the implementation of the safeguard measures did not breach or disseminate secret aspects of the ritual. However, it considered that the submitting State should further elaborate on the specific measures to ensure compliance with customary practices that restricted access to some parts of the element, given the sensitivity of the traditions concerned; a simple statement seemed inadequate. The Subsidiary Body therefore recommended a referral of the file to the submitting Party, which would enable it to provide the additional required information.
With regard to R.1, the delegation of Nigeria found it difficult to understand why the Subsidiary Body was unable to differentiate between the different aspects of the element, particularly as most African festivals or rites included puppets and masks, as well as music, songs and rituals in a complete theatre performance, and were not considered as separate components.
The delegation of Madagascar thanked the Subsidiary Body for its remarkable work, and the submitting State for its nomination of a cultural and living element. The delegation found that the element constituted an annual event celebrated among different communities and clearly constituted a ritual of puppets and masks with dance and music that were intimately linked. The delegation considered that the submitting State had satisfied criterion R.1.
The delegation of Peru was surprised that R.1 was not satisfied, considering that it was fundamental to the nomination, and wondered whether the State had benefitted and responded to technical assistance provided by the Secretariat. The delegation also sought clarity on whether the identification of the safeguarding measures had helped in defining the element as intangible cultural heritage.
The delegation of Tunisia added that the complex nature of the element, comprising several forms of inseparable expressions, should be taken in consideration in defining the element in R.1, which it considered satisfied.
Responding to the questions on R.1, the Chairperson of the Subsidiary Body explained that the nomination was unclear on the subject of the nomination, i.e. which components were being proposed for inscription, adding that it was not attempting to dissociate the puppets and the masks. Instead the Subsidiary Body sought to clarify whether it was the ritual itself or the use of the ritual that constituted the element. Furthermore, it sought greater detail on the communities concerned in the different components of the event.
Remarking on the quality of the documents and the excellent way the meeting was being conducted, the delegation of Mali took the opportunity to thank UNESCO for its support in assisting Mali in safeguarding its tangible and intangible cultural heritage given the current national crisis. With regard to the concerns, the delegation explained that the information was contained in the nomination form under three points. With regard to R.1, the delegation explained that the element comprised the coming forth of the masks and the puppets of Markala, an event thus described by the practising community, as mentioned in section C of the preamble. The delegation further explained that the measures taken with regard to customary practices could be found in section 3.a(i), which made reference to the Association, as cited, ‘perpetuate the practice by facilitating knowledge transfer. The Association Bosoba Sogo that works to facilitate exchanges with administrative authorities, promote intangible heritage and cultural diversity in general and cultural practices and traditions in particular’, whose role was to safeguard the customary and secret practices, as well as ‘safeguard the wood and grasses used to make the masks, puppets and their supports’. The delegation emphasized that the performance was not related to the masks and the puppets per se, but to their symbolic representation as sacred links between nature and the universe, as acknowledged by the Subsidiary Body.
The Chairperson remarked on the good example set by Mali on how questions to the submitting State should be answered point-by-point. The Chairperson then moved to the adoption of the draft decision. With no comments or objections, paragraph 1 was pronounced adopted.
The delegation of Nigeria proposed that sub-paragraph R.1 [in paragraph 3] be amended.
The delegation of Grenada remarked that from the information given in the form, the subject of inscription was still unclear, particularly as there was a secret dimension to the element.
Given the explanation, the delegation of Madagascar found that R.1 had been satisfied.
The Chairperson sought an amendment, without which it would be impossible to advance. He then turned to sub-paragraph R.5, which was duly adopted.
The delegation of Nigeria proposed the following amendment in R.1, which read: ‘Coming forth of the masks and puppets of Markala demonstrates a high level of artistic expressions combining the craftsmanship of masks and puppets as well as music, dance and songs in a most wholesome way.’
The Chairperson noted support for the amendment from China, Indonesia, Japan, Uruguay, Kyrgystan, Egypt, Belgium, Namibia, Uganda and Tunisia.
The delegation of Belgium proposed deleting, ‘in a most wholesome way’. The delegation of Nigeria agreed with replacing the text with ‘holistic way’.
The delegation of Grenada supported the amendment by Belgium. The Chairperson thus pronounced sub-paragraph R.1 adopted, which subsequently joined paragraph 2. With no comments or objections to sub-paragraphs 2 and 3, they were adopted. Paragraph 2 was thus pronounced adopted.
The Chairperson turned to paragraph 3 and the deletion of R.1, which was moved to paragraph 2. With no change to sub-paragraph R.4, paragraph 3 was adopted.
The delegation of Nigeria wished to propose an amendment to paragraph 4, explaining that in most cases in Africa masquerades were forbidden to certain persons, i.e. women and children, and were often seen as crimes, which highlighted the relationship between cultural practice and the penal code. However, in this case, it did not appear that there were any restrictions in listening to the drums.
The Chairperson reiterated that amendments be submitted in order to change the draft decision.
The delegation of Nigeria suggested the following wording: ‘The coming forth of the masks and puppets of Markala had shown adequate measures that respected the concerned communities.’
The Chairperson remarked that sub-paragraph 4 in paragraph 3 had already been adopted, since no amendments had been submitted prior to its adoption. With no further objections, paragraph 4 was pronounced adopted.
With no further comments or objections, the Chairperson declared adopted Decision 7.COM 11.20 to referComing forth of the masks and puppets in Markala to the submitting State for additional information.
The Chairperson thanked Nigeria for its efforts.
Reiterating its thanks, the delegation of Mali acknowledged the decision.
The Chairperson added that the Committee had appreciated Mali’s efforts, and that it now had an opportunity to enhance and improve the file.
The Chairperson of the Subsidiary Body presented the next nomination on Cultural practices and expressions linked to the balafon of the Senufo communities of Mali, Burkina Faso and Côte d’Ivoire [draft decision 7.COM 11.21] submitted by Mali, Burkina Faso and Côte d’Ivoire. The balafon of the Senufo communities of Mali, Burkina Faso and Côte d’Ivoire is a pentatonic xylophone composed of eleven to twenty-one keys of varying lengths arranged on a trapezoidal frame with calabash gourd resonators of varying sizes, arranged beneath the frame. The player first learns to play a children’s balafon, later moving on to full-size balafons, under the instruction of a teacher. Played solo or as part of an ensemble during festivities, prayers work, funerals and so on, the balafon is a symbol of the identity for the communities. The Subsidiary Body recalled that the nomination of the Cultural practices and expressions linked to the balafon of the Senufo communities of Mali and Burkina Faso had already been inscribed on the Representative List in 2011, even if the tri-national nomination including Côte d’Ivoire had been referred owing to a lack of information on criteria R.4 and R.5 by Côte d’Ivoire. This year, the Subsidiary Body found that the additional information provided by Côte d’Ivoire demonstrated that criterion R.4 was satisfied by all three submitting States. However, it also concluded that criterion R.5 required additional information owing to a lack of information on how the inventory had been elaborated. The Subsidiary Body therefore recommended a referral of the file to the submitting Party, which would enable it to provide the additional required information. The Subsidiary Body wished to add that the element as previously inscribed by Mali and Burkina Faso remained unaffected, even though both countries were encouraged to provide more information in a re-submission of an extended nomination.
With no comments forthcoming, the Chairperson turned to the draft decision. With no objections, paragraphs 1 and 2 were pronounced adopted.
The delegation of Madagascar believed that Côte d’Ivoire had satisfied R.5, and had thus submitted an amendment to the Secretariat in this regard.
The Chairperson explained that an amendment to R.5 would involve a substantive re-wording of paragraph 3.
The delegation of Grenada remarked that there was no reference to Côte d’Ivoire’s inventory in the nomination form.
The Chairperson of the Subsidiary Body explained that there was lack of information on the inventory from Côte d’Ivoire in section 5 related to R.5, which was the reason it recommended the referral of the file to all three submitting States.
The Chairperson remarked that the draft decision stated that the three submitting States had included the element in their respective inventories, while Grenada’s concern arose from the fact that only the inventories of Mali and Burkina Faso were mentioned in section 5 of the nomination form.
The Chairperson of the Subsidiary Body concurred with the observation that there were only references to the inventories of Mali and Burkina Faso in the nomination form. The referral therefore only concerned Côte d’Ivoire.
The Chairperson introduced the Minister of Culture for Côte d’Ivoire, Mr Maurice Bandaman, thanking him for honouring the meeting with his presence. Noting the predicament in draft decision 7.COM 11.21, the Chairperson suggested returning later to the file and to continue with draft decision 7.COM 11.23, since Mongolia had withdrawn its nomination file.
[The Vice-Chairperson from Azerbaijan replaced the Chairperson]
The Chairperson of the Subsidiary Body presented the next nomination on Cherry festival in Sefrou [draft decision 7.COM 11.23] submitted by Morocco. For three days in June each year, the local population of Sefrou celebrates the natural and cultural beauty of the region, symbolized by the cherry fruit and that year’s newly chosen Cherry Queen. The highlight of the festival is a parade with performing troupes, rural and urban music, majorettes and bands, and floats featuring local producers. The cherry festival provides an opportunity for the entire city to present its activities and achievements. The Subsidiary Body found that the nomination satisfied criteria R.2, R.4 and R.5, but that criteria R.1 and R.3 required additional information. It noted that the population of Sefrou attached great importance to the annual festival and had actively participated through various institutions and associations in the preparation of the nomination providing their free, prior and informed consent. However, the Subsidiary Body had difficulty in clearly defining the scope of the festival in R.1, as it was composed of many events and cultural expressions, and therefore sought a clearer description of the element. Finally, although the Subsidiary Body noted the many safeguarding measures in R.3, it wondered whether the professionalization of the festival would jeopardize the participation of bearers and therefore its future safeguard. For this reason, additional information was required to assess whether or not criterion R.3 was satisfied. The Subsidiary Body therefore recommended a referral of the file to the submitting Party, which would enable it to provide the additional required information.
The delegation of China found that the description of the element in the nomination form clearly presented every aspect in the definition of an element, and thus R.1 was sufficiently satisfied. With regard to the issue of professionalization in R.3, the delegation sought an explanation from the submitting State as to its perceived meaning.
The delegation of Azerbaijan noted that the nomination form contained information on the many various cultural expressions taking place during the celebration, and thus believed that R.1 was satisfied. With regard to R.3, the delegation reminded the Committee that final and formal guidelines on the notion of professionalization had not yet been elaborated and it was thus incorrect to make judgements on a nomination in this regard.
With regard to R.3 and the issue of professionalization, and the participation of traditional bearers, the delegation of Belgium asked the Subsidiary Body to elaborate on the precise information it sought. The delegation also sought clarification from Morocco on the outcomes of the meeting held in 2010, as mentioned in the file.
The delegation of Indonesia supported the remarks by China and Azerbaijan that R.1 had been satisfied, as well as the remark by Azerbaijan with regard to R.3 and the meaning behind ‘professionalization’, since R.3 related specifically to safeguarding measures. The delegation thus sought clarification from the Subsidiary Body and Morocco in this regard.
The delegation of Brazil found very relevant the point raised by the Subsidiary Body that professionalization might not be detrimental to the tradition bearers, and at the same time it was not known whether this might be the case in the future, adding that evaluations should have a more positive outlook. From Brazil’s experience in a similar element, it was said that professionalization helped in sustaining the element.
The delegation of Tunisia remarked that the sole reference for the identification of R.1 rested with the community itself, which considered the ancient tradition of the cherry festival as a marker of identity for the local population. With regard to R.3, the delegation believed that the noted professionalization reflected the dynamism of the element, as a way of transmitting the tradition.
With regard to R.1, the Chairperson of the Subsidiary Body explained that the Subsidiary Body found it difficult to comprehend the element as put forward, since there were many cultural traditions with cherries and that it was insufficiently detailed in the nomination form. In some cases it was sidelined by the beauty pageant that was also part of the cherry festival. With regard to professionalization, the Subsidiary Body noted the increasing importance given to the election of the cherry queen over the cultural festival as a whole, whose imbalance it considered as detrimental to the festival itself.
The delegation of Morocco took note of the two questions related to the notion of professionalization and the meeting held in 2010. With regard to the first point, the delegation pointed out that ‘professionalism’ and not ‘professionalization’ had been cited in the nomination, which referred to the formalization of the organization of the festival, as sought by the community, and not the element itself, comparing this to the transition of non-formal transmission to formal transmission. With regard to the meeting in which the safeguarding measures had been discussed, the delegation explained that the meeting had brought together a number of experts, community representatives, associations and council officials in order to address the Secretariat’s remarks on the nomination, which helped improve the file from the initial submission.
The delegation of Tunisia found the explanation by Morocco strongly convincing in R.1 and that the many aspects of the element were clearly described. Criterion R.3 was also satisfied, as there was clearly a misunderstanding with regard to the terminology used since ‘professionalism’ implied the formalization of the festival, which was in no way a threat to the element, as noted by Brazil.
The Chairperson then turned to paragraph 1 of the draft decision, which was duly adopted.
Considering that R.1 was fully satisfied, the delegation of China proposed moving sub-paragraph R.1 [in paragraph 3] to paragraph 2, which would read: ‘The nomination has defined the various cultural expressions that take place during the cherry festival, which is considered by the communities in Sefrou as an important carrier of their intangible cultural heritage and constitutes cultural identity among the local people. The social and cultural functions are displayed in different activities during the annual organization of the festival.’
The delegation of Indonesia supported the proposal by China.
The Chairperson noted support for the amendment from Kyrgyzstan, Grenada, Namibia, Egypt and Madagascar.
The delegation of Belgium proposed deleting ‘and constitutes cultural identity among the local people’. The delegation of China did not object to its deletion. With no further comments or objections, sub-paragraph R.1 was adopted. With no change to sub-paragraph R.2, it was duly adopted.
Referring to sub-paragraph R.3 [in paragraph 3], the delegation of Indonesia proposed to move it to paragraph 2, retaining the first part of the sub-paragraph and deleting the latter part, which would thus read: ‘Safeguarding measures aimed at protecting and promoting the cherry festival include the creation of a museum and other important measures.’
The delegation of Brazil supported Indonesia’s proposal, emphasizing that the safeguarding measures also took into consideration the tradition bearers.
The Chairperson noted support for the amendment from Japan, Kyrgyzstan, Grenada, China, Egypt Tunisia, Greece and Uruguay. With no further comments of objections, sub-paragraph R.3 was adopted and moved to paragraph 2. With no further change, paragraph 2 as amended by China and Indonesia was adopted. Consequently paragraph 3 was deleted. New paragraph 3 that ‘decides to inscribe’ was thus adopted.
The delegation of Brazil proposed an additional paragraph [new paragraph 5], which would read: ‘Recommends the State Party to take into consideration the participation of the traditional bearers in the implementation of the proposed safeguarding measures.’
The delegation of Belgium believed that the submitting State had taken the traditional bearers into consideration, and suggested replacing ‘take into consideration’ with ‘enhance’.
The delegation of Grenada suggested ‘reinforce’ in the French version. With no further comments, paragraph 4 as proposed by Brazil was adopted.
With no further comments or objections, the Chairperson declared adopted Decision 7.COM 11.23 to inscribe Cherry festival in Sefrouon the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
The delegation of Morocco thanked the Committee for its decision and the Subsidiary Body for its careful examination of the nomination file, as well as the Secretariat for its efficacy and professionalism in its observations that enabled Morocco to improve its original file. Nevertheless, the delegation took note of the concerns raised, remarking that it attributed to the complexity of the element that comprised a multitude of cultural practices, and that it contributed towards the representativeness of intangible cultural heritage and was thus safeguarded. The delegation spoke of Morocco’s awareness of its responsibility vis-à-vis the international community in ensuring the viability of the element and its transmission to future generations.
Thanking Morocco, the Chairperson returned to draft decision 7.COM 11.21.
Returning to the question of inventories, the Chairperson of the Subsidiary Body affirmed that all three countries had indeed inscribed the element in their respective inventories. However, in the case of Côte d’Ivoire, the Subsidiary Body found that there was insufficient information on how the communities were involved in the elaboration of the inventory and thus R.5 had not been adequately met, which was not the case for Mali and Burkina Faso.
The delegation of Brazil sought further clarification from the Minister of Culture for Côte d’Ivoire, noting that Côte d’Ivoire had submitted additional information to the Secretariat concerning the inventory and the involvement of the communities concerned.
The delegation of Peru noted that the Subsidiary Body had called into question the community’s involvement in the preparation of the inventories.
On behalf of the delegation of Côte d’Ivoire, Mr Maurice Bandaman drew attention to R.4 in which it was stated, ‘The Senufo communities have been involved in preparing the nomination through a series of consultations and have given their free, prior and informed consent through their traditional and customary leaders, musicians, dancers and other relevant resource persons’, adding that the communities had been closley associated with all aspects of the nomination’s preparation. With regard to the inventory, Mr Bandaman remarked that the Subsidiary Body had recognized the existence of the inventory in all three countries, and was pleased that such incoherencies in the draft decision had been noted by the Chairperson. Mr Bandaman spoke of the national military crisis in the northern part of the country that had hampered attempts to inscribe elements on the inventory, which was only now being carried out by the institution set up for this purpose.
The delegation of Nigeria found the explanation satisfactory.
The delegation of Belgium remarked that there was no evidence in the nomination form that R.5 had been satisfied, and that it was important to remain coherent with previous decisions in this regard.
The delegation of Czech Republic shared the view expresed by Belgium in that the information on R.5 was absent from the nomination form. The delegation of Latvia supported this view.
The delegation of Indonesia asked the Committee to consider the explanation given by the Minister and agree that R.5 was satisfied, and to take note of the fact that the nomination is a multinational file that was actively encouraged by the Convention.
The Chairperson noted that paragraph 2 had already been adopted without amendments. However, should Committee members have an amendment to paragraph 2 they could submit the amendment for discussion.
The delegation of Indonesia suggested using the text from R.5 in the amendment, which would read: ‘The balafon of the Senufo is included in cultural heritage inventories of Mali, Burkina Faso and Côte d’Ivoire respectively with the participation of communities, groups and relevant non-governmental organizations as well as regular updating, in conformity with Articles 11 and 12 of the Convention.’
The delegation of Belgium disagreed with the amendment since the information needed to satisfy R.5 was not contained in the nomination form.
The delegation of Grenada remarked that the inventory was available online, even though the information did not appear in the nomination form, and suggested that the Committee consider the absence as a technical error. However, the delegation did not find that the information in R.5 on community participation was adequately explained, though because the information was contained elsewhere in the form it supported the amendment.
The Chairperson concurred that it appeared to be a technical error as the information was contained in the annex.
The delegation of Madagascar drew attention to a citation of a law dating July 2012 that made reference to Côte d’Ivoire’s inventory, adding that community participation in the elaboration of the element’s inscription on the inventory had been demonstrated.
The Chairperson noted support for the amendment from Japan, Morocco, Greece and Kyrgyzstan.
The delegation of Belgium suggested a count. Raising their nameplates, the Chairperson noted support for the amendment from Japan, Morocco, Greece, Kyrgyzstan, China, Albania, Brazil, Indonesia and Madagascar, which was less than the 12 expressions of support needed to adopt the amendment.
The delegation of Indonesia asked the Legal Adviser to intervene and explain the procedure, as abstentions had not been taken into consideration.
The Legal Adviser remarked that the Chairperson had not sought a vote but rather a consensus, which had not been reached, adding that Art. 3711 of the Rules of Procedure guided such a situation and that abstentions did not count since only the rule ‘present and voting’ applied. A voting procedure that foresaw a simple majority would thus only count Committee members for and against the motion, with abstentions considered as non-votes. Thus, the simple majority would be decided based solely on those voting for and against.
The delegation of Nigeria supported the amendment.
The delegation of Grenada clarified that a vote had not been instigated, but rather a method previously adopted in Bali to assess support for an amendment and thus ascertain whether it garnered the Committee’s majority support.
The Chairperson concurred with Grenada that a vote had not been instigated, adding that only expressions of support for the amendment were being counted.
The delegation of China fully supported Grenada’s remarks, adding that a vote was unnecessary since there was obvious support for the amendment, and suggested counting those opposed to the amendment.
The Chairperson noted opposition to the amendment from Belgium, Czech Republic, Latvia, Egypt and Peru. The Chairperson concluded that the majority were in favour of adopting the amendment, which was duly adopted.
The delegation of Albania drew attention to an incoherency in the French version.
The Chairperson turned to paragraph 3, which was duly deleted with the adoption of sub-paragraph R.5. New paragraph 3 was thus amended to ‘Decides to inscribe’ and was duly adopted.
With no further comments or objections, the Vice-Chairperson declared adopted Decision 7.COM 11.21 to inscribeCultural practices and expressions linked to the balafon of the Senufo communities of Mali, Burkina Faso and Côte d’Ivoire on the Representative Listof the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
The delegation of Côte d’Ivoire thanked UNESCO, the Chairperson and the Subsidiary Body, as well as Indonesia and the Committee members who supported the element’s inscription, adding that it would reinforce the process of national reconciliation between the north and south of the country, as well as sub-regional consultation.
[The Chairperson reprised his role]
The Chairperson thanked Azerbaijan for its assistance and turned to the next file.
The Chairperson of the Subsidiary Body presented the next nomination on Practices and expressions of joking relationships in Niger [draft decision 7.COM 11.24] submitted by Niger. Joking relationships characterize the day-to-day interactions between ethno-linguistic groups or communities in Niger. They take the form of a playful taunting between two people from two communities that represent symbolically the husband and wife cross-cousin branches of the same family. The relationship is characterized by jokes and other provocations according to caricatured or stereotypical clichés to reciprocally greet and playfully insult one another. The joking relationship is a real instrument for regulating social tensions and to teach practitioners to fight against social discrimination. The Subsidiary Body found that the nomination satisfied criteria R.4 and R.5, but criteria R.1, R.2 and R.3, required additional information. It found the nomination interesting and very important in the daily lives of the people of Niger and in neighbouring countries and would, with additional information, broaden understanding about intangible cultural heritage. With regard to R.1, the communities concerned could have been better defined and identified in the different sections of the nomination form; additional information was also needed on the nature of the joking relationship practices and its relationship with other cultural expressions, as well as current modes of transmission. With regard to R.2, the nomination did not explain how inscription of the element would contribute to the visibility of intangible cultural heritage in general, nor how inscription would encourage dialogue between communities and promote human creativity. In R.3, more concrete information was needed regarding the proposed safeguarding measures, as well as the involvement of communities and other stakeholders in the measures. The Subsidiary Body therefore recommended a referral of the file to the submitting Party, which would enable it to provide the additional required information.
The delegation of Greece wished to comment on a procedural matter with regard to the previous file. The Chairperson wished to first complete the discussion on the present file.
With no comments forthcoming, the Chairperson turned to the draft decision. With no changes in paragraphs 1–4, they were duly adopted.
With no comments or objections, the Chairperson declared adopted Decision 7.COM 11.24 to refer practices and expressions of joking relationships in Nigerto the submitting State for additional information.
Thanking the Subsidiary Body and the Committee, the delegation of Niger took note of the remarks, adding that it would continue to improve its file for re-submission in the next cycle.
The delegation of Greece drew attention to the two different procedures that had been applied in cases where the Committee did not have unanimity. In the first case, expressions of support were counted and found to be one vote short of a majority, while in the second case, the expressions against the proposed amendment were counted, which was less than the majority. For the sake of clarity and coherence, the delegation wished to know in which of the two cases the correct procedure applied.
The Secretary explained that the normal procedure would take the draft decision as the basis for adoption. In the case of a proposed amendment, the Committee should first consider the amendment and garner enough support to replace the original text. If however the majority was not attained, the original text would remain valid. In the first case, there was not enough voiced support for the amendment nor enough voiced opposition to the original text. Thus, by default the original recommendation remained intact. In the second case, which was a slightly different scenario, a vote had not been called, while at the same time the Chairperson, noting concern among the members, sought to determine the majority position.
The delegation of Greece felt that the scenario did not differ significantly, with both cases encountering a similar for and against situation.
Not wishing to open the issue for debate, the Chairperson suggested to discuss the matter privately with Greece and to conclude on the issue in the subsequent morning session.
The Chairperson of the Subsidiary Body presented the next nomination on Al’azi, elegy, processional march and poetry [draft decision 7.COM 11.25] submitted by Oman. Al’azi is a genre of sung poetry punctuated by sword and step movements and poetic exchanges between a singer poet and a choir. The poet recites improvised and memorized poems in Arabic and guides other participants. The performers must pay attention to his movements and recitation, and respond with appropriate replies and movements. The poems express pride of belonging and may eulogize the tribe, important people or historical moments. It was noted that the Committee in Bali had referred the nomination to the submitting State for criteria R.1 and R.2. The Subsidiary Body found that the nomination satisfied criteria R.2, R.3, R.4 and R.5, but that criterion R.1 did not reach consensus. Some members found that the revised nomination demonstrated that Al’azi bestowed a sense of identity to the bearers by promoting values of solidarity, unity and equality in the Bedouin communities of Oman, and therefore concluded that the criterion was satisfied. Others felt that additional information was still required to demonstrate the current viability of Al’azi and its transmission from generation to generation, beyond formal education. It was felt that the submitting State had not responded to the specific request by the Committee in 2011 to explain the current modes of transmission and how the communities recreated the element. Thus, the criterion had not been satisfied. The Subsidiary Body regretted that it was unable to reach consensus and returned the decision to the Committee for a solution.
The Chairperson noted that the Subsidiary Body had preferred to confer to the Committee the option to decide whether or not R.1 was satisfied. The Chairperson therefore sought expressions of support for the Yes option.
The delegation of Indonesia believed that formal education on intangible cultural heritage was a form of transmission, adding that those formally instructing on intangible cultural heritage would become members of the community of the element concerned. In this regard, Indonesia supported the Yes option.
The delegation of Brazil believed that formal education tended to render transmission artificial, but also found in the nomination form that the traditional bearers of the element transmitted knowledge of the element to their children. Thus, even though there were safeguarding measures concerning formal education, the traditional bearers also guaranteed transmission. Hence, Brazil’s support for the Yes option.
The delegation of Egypt found no grounds for objection to the mode of transmission, as the element was clearly alive with practitioners, participants and communities. Hence, Egypt supported the Yes option.
The Chairperson noted supported for the Yes option from China, Japan, Nicaragua, Tunisia, Kyrgyzstan and Namibia, and no support for the No option, which was subsequently deleted.
With no further comments or objections, the Chairperson declared adopted Decision 7.COM 11.25 to inscribe Al’azi, elegy, processional march and poetryon the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
The delegation of the Sultanate of Oman thanked the Committee and the Subsidiary Body for their support of the file, as well as the practitioners of Al’azi who are transmitting the element to the next generation.
The Chairperson of the Subsidiary Body presented the final nomination of the day on Al-Ayyala, a traditional performing art of the Sultanate of Oman and the United Arab Emirates [draft decision 7.COM 11.26] submitted by Oman and the United Arab Emirates. Al-Ayyala is a popular and traditional heritage practiced in communities throughout western Oman and the United Arab Emirates that involves dance, chanting and drum music. It is performed by two facing rows of twenty or more men, simulating a battle scene, with performers carrying thin bamboo sticks to signify spears or swords. The rows alternate movements signifying victory or defeat, chant poetic lyrics, and move their heads and sticks synchronous with the drum rhythm. Al-Ayyala is a festive and cultural celebration of identity and history of local communities, and as such is performed during religious and national festivals and weddings. The Subsidiary Body found that the nomination satisfied criteria R.1, R.2, R.3, but that criterion R.4 and R.5 required additional information. It felt that the popularity of Al-Ayyala poetry and dance in both countries demonstrated its importance as a marker of identity that cemented social cohesion and strengthened cultural continuity. Moreover, inscription would help raise awareness of the importance of intangible cultural heritage in other countries where Al-Ayyala is also practiced. Nevertheless, for R.4 the Subsidiary Body sought more information in section 4.c of the nomination form that demonstrated the potential existence of customary practices that might restrict access to the practice of Al-Ayyala. Members of the Subsidiary Body also noted that identical wording had been used in the nominations submitted by the same States Parties, which further compromised the element vis-à-vis criterion R.4. With regard to R.5, although Al-Ayyala seemed to have been included in an inventory in the United Arab Emirates, there was no evidence that this was the case in Oman. Similarly, members of the Subsidiary Body could not find references to community participation, as required by Art. 11 and Art. 12 of the Convention. In an effort to remain coherent with other recommendations in the previous cycle, the Subsidiary Body therefore recommended a referral of the file to the submitting States Parties, which would enable them to provide the additional required information.
The delegation of Indonesia wished to put the question of customary practices to Oman, surmising that they were absent in the form because they might not exist. The delegation also sought clarity with regard to the involvement of communities in the elaboration of the inventory, asking that Oman indicate where such information could be found in the form.
The delegation of Oman drew attention to the reference number of the element in the inventory, as indicated in the nomination form, adding that the inventory had been prepared with the community and described in detail in three paragraphs. The role of the community in the inventory was also explained, as well as its related documentation in the form of a book. With regard to R.4 on customary practices, the delegation explained that the sentence in 4.c was a statement of fact of the actual situation.
The delegation of Indonesia thanked Oman for replying to the question of community participation, but sought a clear response on whether there were customary practices that restricted access to the practice of Al-Ayyala. The delegation of Oman replied with a No.
The delegation of Belgium remarked that it did understand how the Subsidiary Body had come to its conclusion with regard to R.5.
The Chairperson moved to the draft decision and paragraph 1, which was duly adopted.
Having heard the explanation from Oman, the delegation of China believed that R.4 was satisfied, and suggested the following amendment, which read: ‘Several practitioners, NGOs, research centres and communities participated in the nomination process of Al-Ayyala and granted their free, prior and informed consent for its inscription.’
The Chairperson noted support for the amendment from Indonesia, Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco, Brazil, Kyrgyzstan and Azerbaijan.
The delegation of Grenada remarked that the procedure to determine the level of support required a majority, adding that the amendment did not deal with the noted problem of cut-and-paste from other files.
The Chairperson noted that consensus had not been reached to support the amendment.
The delegation of China asked that the Chairperson request whether there was opposition to the amendment.
The Chairperson replied that an exception did not make a practice nor set a precedent, and with the amendment not receiving the support of the majority, he overruled the amendment. With no comments of objections to paragraph 2, it was pronounced adopted. With no changes to paragraphs 3 and 4, they were pronounced adopted.
With no further comments or objections, the Chairperson declared adopted Decision 7.COM 11.25 to refer Al-Ayyala, a traditional performing art of the Sultanate of Oman and the United Arab Emiratesto the submitting State for additional information.
The delegation of Oman regretted that the decision despite the Subsidiary Body providing the Committee with two options and that the information pertaining to the criteria was contained in the nomination form, which it considered unfair. The delegation maintained that the nomination had clearly demonstrated that criterion R.5 on the inventory had been satisfied, as well as criterion R.4.
The delegation of the United Arab Emirates remarked that as part of the nomination file it also had the right to answer the question on criteria R.4 and R.5. The delegation spoke of the file as being very good with Al-Ayyala widely practised throughout the country. Moreover, it surmised that the file was rejected based on a repeated sentence in both of its submitted files, which it found to be unfair, particularly as it did not contradict the fact that there were no customary practices restricting access to the practice of Al-Ayyala. No additional information could therefore be added in this regard. With regard to the inventory, the delegation spoke of having benefitted from the capacity-building programme whose 11 trained persons were fully involved in establishing the inventory, adding that documentation had been submitted that demonstrated how the community had participated in the process.
The Chairperson apologized for not having noticed the United Arab Emirates in response to the question from Indonesia, adding that all the submitting States in the nomination had to anyway fully satisfy the criteria in question. The Chairperson recognized that the practice of Al-Ayyala to be a rich and deeply cultural tradition, and was convinced that with the additional information the nomination would be successful in the next cycle, commending the submitting States for their hard work in the preparation of the file.
The Chairperson of the Subsidiary Body presented the next nomination on Arirang, lyrical folk song of Korean people [draft decision 7.COM 11.27] submitted by the Republic of Korea. Arirang is a popular form of Korean folk song and the outcome of collective contributions. Essentially a simple song, it consists of the refrain ‘Arirang, arirang, arariyo’ and two simple lines, which differ from region to region. While dealing with diverse universal themes, the simple musical and literary composition invites improvisation, imitation and singing in unison. A great virtue of Arirang is its respect for human creativity, freedom of expression and empathy. Everyone can create new lyrics, adding to the song’s regional, historical and genre variations, and cultural diversity. The Subsidiary Body found that the nomination satisfied all the criteria. It was impressed by the high quality of the entire nomination file, which presents a very widespread element among the people of the Republic of Korea. It was particularly impressed by the element’s large diversity, yet still recognizable as a single element ‘Arirang’. The Subsidiary Body therefore recommended the inscription of the element on the Representative List.
The Chairperson noted that this was the only new nomination submitted to the Subsidiary Body on which all of the members immediately agreed that all the criteria had been fully satisfied. Nevertheless, it was noted that there were a few words in the nomination that would potentially give rise to misunderstanding. Consequently, the Republic of Korea had requested that the nomination file be modified accordingly and a text incorporating those minor modifications was circulated to the members of the Committee. The Chairperson noted broad consensus that the modifications were minor and did not alter the substance of the nomination, and that an additional provision had been included in the draft decision in this regard. The Chairperson also proposed a minor modification to the title of the nomination to read, ‘lyrical folk song in the Republic of Korea’.
With no comments or objections, the Chairperson turned the draft decision and paragraph 1 of the amendment, which was duly adopted.
The delegation of Morocco and Belgium raised a couple of editorial points.
With no changes to paragraphs 2–3, the Chairperson pronounced them duly adopted.
With no comments or objections, the Chairperson declared adopted Decision 7.COM 11.27 to inscribe Arirang, lyrical folk song in the Republic of Korea on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
The delegation of the Republic of Korea was sincerely grateful to the Subsidiary Body, the Secretariat and the Committee, adding that Arirang had a special place in the hearts of Koreans, which has been transmited over hundreds of years as a living cultural spirit.