Friday, April 20, 2007

Masterpieces of Intangible Cultural Heritage

Mother and child: consultation with a Kallawaya herbal practitioner.

UNESCO administers the 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) as part of its cultural program. ICH is manifested, among others, in the following domains:
* Oral traditions and expressions including language as a vehicle of the intangible cultural heritage;
* Performing arts (such as traditional music, dance and theatre);
* Social practices, rituals and festive events;
* Knowledge and practices concerning nature and the universe;
* Traditional craftsmanship
* Cultural spaces.
The Proclamation of Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity is an international distinction created by UNESCO in 1997. It concluded in 2006 with the entry into force of the Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage. Read:
* Definition, justification and objectives of the program
* Selection Criteria and procedure

Proclamations of Masterpieces were made in 2001, 2003 and 2005. Check out the website mapping locations and giving details about the proclaimed masterpieces:
* in 2001 and 2003
* in 2005.
None of the proclaimed masterpieces are from the United States.
The Navajo, Hopi and Pueblo communities in the Southwest come to mind as holding masterpiece cultural spaces as part of man's heritage.

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