‘Intangible heritage’ list adds new entries
DENPASAR, Indonesia - Agence France-Presse
Indonesia’s Saman dance, “the dance of a thousand hands,” from Aceh province on the tip of Sumatra island was among nine new traditions placed on the UNESCO list. AFP photo
cIn all, envoys on Indonesia’s resort island of Bali this week picked 11 new listings, from among 18 entries by 24 nations, to add to the UN cultural agency’s 2011 list of traditions in need of urgent protection, including Indonesia’s own Saman dance.
They include the Al-Sadu traditional form of weaving by Bedouin women in rural communities of the United Arab Emirates and the Eshuva sung prayer which is performed for healing or as part of traditional ceremonies in Peru, UNESCO said on its website.
The other new entries were Mongolian folk songs played on ancient flutes; the art of Yimakan storytelling by China’s ethnic Hezhen; Mauritania’s Moorish epic T’heydinn poems; Yaokwa, an indigenous Brazilian drought ritual; and Vietnam’s Xoan singing, practised in sacred places of Phu Tho province during spring.
Also newly listed is the secret society of Koredugaw, a rite of wisdom by the Bambara, Malinke, Senufo and Samogo peoples of Mali.
The Koredugaw are a group of initiates who provoke laughter with behaviour characterised by gluttony, caustic humour and wit, but who also possess great intelligence and wisdom, the UNESCO website said.
Iran secured two spots on the list, the first with its oldest form of dramatic story-telling, Naqqa-li, which recounts tales in verse or prose accompanied by gestures and movements.
The building and sailing of Lenjes, traditional boats used in the Gulf, was also listed.
UNESCO said the meeting on Bali had been mostly funded by Indonesia, which won a place on the list with its colourful clapping Saman dance, “the dance of a thousand hands.”
Indonesia had pledged $10 million to preserve the dance should it be added to the list.
Like the 16 endangered traditions listed since 2009, the 11 new additions met criteria to prove they faced “grave threats as a result of which it cannot be expected to survive without immediate safeguarding,” according to UNESCO