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Intangible Heritage: Seven elements inscribed on the List in Need of Urgent Safeguarding

Source: UNESCO

Intangible Heritage: Seven elements inscribed on the List in Need of Urgent Safeguarding
© Rachid, Bellil, 2016

Meeting in Mauritius until December 1, the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, inscribed this morning seven elements on the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding.

The List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding features elements of living heritage whose viability is under threat. It mobilizes international cooperation and assistance to strengthen the transmission of these cultural practices, in agreement with the concerned communities. The seven elements inscribed this morning are:

Intangible Heritage: Seven elements inscribed on the List in Need of Urgent Safeguarding
© Rachid, Bellil, 2016

Algeria—Knowledge and skills of the water measurers of the foggaras or water bailiffs of Touat and Tidikelt concerns the knowledge and skills of the water measurers of the foggaras, or water bailiffs, of the ksour communities of Touat and Tidikelt. As key figures in the community, water measurers are involved in various operations, from calculating water shares to repairing distribution combs and directing the flow of water into channels. Several factors have disrupted the proper functioning of the foggara, however, including a lack of communication between youth and elders, governmental changes to relations of ownership, and the effects of urbanization and modernization.

Intangible Heritage: Seven elements inscribed on the List in Need of Urgent Safeguarding

Yalli (Kochari, Tenzere), traditional group dances of Nakhchivan © G. Abdullayeva/Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan—Yalli (Kochari, Tenzere), traditional group dances of Nakhchivan are collective performances typically danced in a circle, chain or line. They involve games, pantomime (imitations of birds or other animals) and physical exercises and movements. The dances are performed spontaneously or in a planned manner during festivities, and free participation is one of their key principles. Several factors currently threaten the transmission of the dances including a shift from informal to formal transmission, a preference for staged performances, labour migration, and drastic simplification of the dances.

Intangible Heritage: Seven elements inscribed on the List in Need of Urgent Safeguarding
© Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts of Cambodia, 2017

Cambodia—Lkhon Khol Wat Svay Andet—Lkhon Khol Wat Svay Andet is performed by masked men to the accompaniment of music and melodious recitation in a community based around the Buddhist monastery of Wat Svay Andet. It aims to ensure the community’s protection and prosperity by winning the favours of Neak Ta, a guardian spirit of the place and its people. After generations of transmission, the element’s viability has been weakened by environmental factors, economic migration, insufficient resources and the effects of war and of the Khmer Rouge regime.

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