UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage Lists

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**1. UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage Lists:**

– Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity:
– Includes sites like Pilgrimage to various monasteries and churches.
– Recognized by countries like Italy, Spain, Greece, Morocco, Portugal, Cyprus, and Croatia.
– Aims to showcase cultural heritage diversity and importance.
– Established in 2008 under the Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage.

– List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding:
– Includes traditions like Al Sadu traditional weaving skills in Kuwait.
– Complete and updated as of December 2022.
– Allows for international cooperation and assistance for preservation.

– Register of Good Safeguarding Practices:
– Features successful safeguarding models like the Portuguese-Galician border ICH.
– Showcases overcoming challenges in heritage transmission.
– Provides examples of successful safeguarding projects and activities.

– Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity:
– Incorporates 90 previously proclaimed Masterpieces into the Representative List.
– Recognizes tradition, custom, and cultural spaces.
– UNESCO finances conservation plans for recognized treasures.

– General Assembly of States Parties References:
– Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage established in 2003.
– Criteria and timetable for inscription on the Urgent Safeguarding List available.
– UNESCO facilitates dialogue respecting cultural diversity through the Lists.

**2. Cultural Practices and Traditions:**

– Includes practices like sericulture and traditional production of silk for weaving.
– Adds traditions like Yaldā/Chella and Albanian folk iso-polyphony.
– Recognizes rituals and ceremonies like Sebeïba in the oasis of Djanet, Algeria.
– Recently added couscous to the list of intangible world heritage.

**3. Art and Craftsmanship:**

– Highlights traditional arts like Filete porteño in Buenos Aires and Chamamé.
– Recognizes cultural expressions such as Tango and Armenian cross-stones art.
– Features Duduk music and its cultural significance.

**4. Traditional Cultural Expressions:**

– Showcases performances like the Armenian epic of Daredevils of Sassoun and Kochari traditional group dance.
– Recognizes cultural practices like Lavash preparation and Armenian letter art.
– Includes traditions like blacksmithing in Gyumri and the Armenian tradition of Daredevils of Sassoun.

**5. Indigenous and National Intangible Cultural Heritage:**

– Showcases unique cultural practices from various countries:
– Belgium: Tree beekeeping culture, Carnival of Binche, etc.
– Bolivia: Carnival of Oruro, Ichapekene Piesta, etc.
– Bulgaria: Zmijanje embroidery, Surva folk feast, etc.
– Brazil: Garifuna language, Gelede oral heritage, etc.
– Cambodia: Royal ballet, Khmer shadow theatre, etc.
China: Nanyin music, Sericulture craftsmanship, etc.
– Colombia: Carnival of Barranquilla, Wayuu normative system, etc.
– Croatia: Lacemaking, Spring procession of Ljelje, etc.
– Dominican Republic: Merengue music, Pasillo songs, etc.
– Ecuador: Traditional weaving of the toquilla straw hat.
– Inuit: Drum dancing and singing.
– Zápara people: Oral heritage and cultural manifestations.

UNESCO established its Lists of Intangible Cultural Heritage with the aim of ensuring better protection of important intangible cultural heritages worldwide and the awareness of their significance. This list is published by the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage, the members of which are elected by State Parties meeting in a General Assembly. Through a compendium of the different oral and intangible treasures of humankind worldwide, the programme aims to draw attention to the importance of safeguarding intangible heritage, which UNESCO has identified as an essential component and as a repository of cultural diversity and of creative expression.

Distribution by country as of 2018

The list was established in 2008 when the 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage took effect.

As of 2010, the programme compiles three lists. The longer Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity comprises cultural "practices and expressions [that] help demonstrate the diversity of this heritage and raise awareness about its importance." The shorter List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding is composed of those cultural elements that concerned communities and countries consider to require urgent measures to keep them alive. The third list is the Register of Good Safeguarding Practices.

In 2013, four elements were inscribed on the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding, which helps States Parties mobilize international cooperation and assistance to ensure the transmission of this heritage with the participation of the concerned communities. The Urgent Safeguarding List now numbers 35 elements. The Intergovernmental Committee also inscribed 25 elements on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, which serves to raise awareness of intangible heritage and provide recognition to communities' traditions and know-how that reflect their cultural diversity. The list does not attribute or recognize any standard of excellence or exclusivity. All lists combined totalled 676 elements, corresponding to 140 countries as of April 2023.

Elements inscribed in the lists are deemed significant manifestations of humanity's intangible heritage, the highest honour for intangible heritage on a global level.

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