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Tuesday 29 November 2011

Patricia Covarrubia

Intangible Cultural Heritage: more than IPRs

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The last couple of days members of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of Intangible Heritage - UNESCO, has been discussing in Bali, Indonesia, some items to be admitted on the Representative list of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. It is announced that 19 new elements have been added to the list this year.

UNESCO’s refers to Intangible Cultural Heritage as to be “practices and expressions transmitted from generation to generation such as oral traditions, performing arts, social practices, rituals, festive events, knowledge and practices concerning nature and the universe or traditional craftsmanship.”

Some of the items for inclusion and successfully added were (I will refer only to Latin America applicants):
Colombia’s traditional knowledge
Traditional knowledge of the jaguar shamans of Yuruparí: “The jaguar shamans of Yuruparí are the common heritage of the many ethnic groups living along the Pirá Paraná River in southeastern Colombia. Using traditional knowledge and ritual practices, the shamans heal, prevent sickness and revitalize nature. During the Hee Biki ritual, male children learn the traditional guidelines for these practices as a part of their passage into adulthood. It is believed that shamans inherited their traditional knowledge from the all-powerful, mythical Yuruparí, an anaconda who lived as a human and is embodied in sacred trumpets.”

Mexico’s music
Mariachi, string music, song and trumpet: “Mariachi is a traditional music and fundamental element of Mexican culture, transmitting values, heritage, history and different Indian languages. Traditional Mariachi ensembles include trumpets, violins, the vihuela and “guitarrón'' (bass guitar), and may have four or more musicians who wear regional costumes adapted from the charro costume. Modern Mariachi music includes a wide repertoire of songs from different regions of the country and musical genres. Musicians learn by ear from father to son and through performances at festive, religious and civil events.”

Peru’s pilgrimage
pilgrimage to the sanctuary of the Lord of Qoyllurit’i : “The Pilgrimage to the sanctuary of the Lord of Qoyllurit’i begins 58 days after Easter when people representing eight indigenous villages from around Cusco, Peru travel to the Sinakara sanctuary. This religious event plays itself out over 24 hours as people process up and down the mountain ending in the village of Tayancani at sunrise. Dances play a central role in the pilgrimage. The Council of Pilgrim Nations and the Brotherhood of the Lord of Qoyllurit’i oversee activities and maintain the rules and codes of behaviour.”

On the List of Intangible Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding:
Peru’s sung prayers
Eshuva, Harákmbut sung prayers of Peru’s Huachipaire people: The Huachipaire are an indigenous ethnic group speaking the Harákmbut language and living in Peru’s southern Amazon tropical forest. The Eshuva or sung prayer is an expression of Huachipaire religious myths, performed for healing or as part of traditional ceremonies. According to oral tradition, the Eshuva songs were learned directly from the forest’s animals, and are sung to summon nature spirits to help to alleviate illness or discomfort or promote well-being. Performed without musical instruments Eshuva songs are sung only in the Harákmbut language.

Brazil’s ritual
Yaokwa, the Enawene Nawe people’s ritual for the maintenance of social and cosmic order: “The Enawene Nawe people living in the southern Amazon rainforest perform the Yaokwa ritual each year during the seven-month dry season to honour the Yakairiti spirits and ensure cosmic and social order. The different clans alternate responsibility: one embarks on fishing expeditions throughout the area while another prepares offerings of rock salt, fish and ritual food for the spirits, and performs music and dance. Yaokwa and the local biodiversity it celebrates represent an extremely delicate and fragile ecosystem whose continuity depends directly on its conservation.”

Also the Committee selected five new best safeguarding practices, 2 of which were from Brazil:call for projects of the national programme of intangible heritage; and
Fandango’s living museum.

Source UNESCO.
the compete List can be checked in here.

Patricia Covarrubia

Patricia Covarrubia