UNESCO Committee Adds Twelve Elements to Intangible Heritage List.

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Twelve elements, ranging from rice planting rituals in Japan to Mexico”s
mariachi music to a horseback-riding tradition in France,have been added to
the United Nations-backed list of the world”s outstanding examples of
intangible heritage.

A 24-member intergovernmental committee, meeting in Bali, Indonesia, inscribed
seven elements on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of
Humanity during its morning session and another five in the afternoon session,
according to a press release issued by the UN Educational, Scientific and
Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

The new additions include two from Japan: Mibu no Hana Taue, the ritual of
transplanting rice which takes place in two communities in Hiroshima prefecture
on the first Sunday in June each year and Sada Shin Noh, the series of sacred
purification dances performed every September at Sada shrine in Matsue City.

Ther
e are two additions from Croatia: Becarac singing and playing from the
country”s east, where singers are accompanied by a tambura band and Nijemo
Kolo, a silent circle dance from the hinterland of the Dalmatian region.

Two famed musical traditions were also included: Mexico”s mariachi music, which
frequently involves trumpets, violins, the vihuela and the guitarron (or bass
guitar), and Fado, the urban popular song of Portugal, which is typically
performed by a solo singer accompanied by an acoustic guitar and a guitar, or
pear-shaped 12-stringed lute.

Another addition is Tsiattista poetic dueling from Cyprus, a lively and
impromptu form of oral poetry performed in Greek Cypriot dialect in which
participants attempt to outdo each other with clever verses of rhyming couplets.

The traditional knowledge of the jaguar shamans of Yurupari in south-eastern
Colombia was also recognized, with UNESCO noting that male children of ethnic
groups living in the area learn the traditional guide
lines as part of their passage into adulthood.

“Equitation in the French tradition,” a school of horseback riding that
emphasizes harmonious relations between humans and horses, was also inscribed,
as was the Ride of the Kings, an annual procession in four towns in
south-eastern Czech Republic held to mark the Christian feast of Pentecost.

In addition, Peru”s pilgrimage to the sanctuary of the Lord of Qoyllurit”i, a
24-hour event in which people from eight indigenous villages travel to a
sanctuary 58 days after Easter each year, was included on the list, and so are
the cultural practices and expressions linked to the balafon — a pentatonic
xylophone — of the Senufo communities of neighboring Burkina Faso and Mali.

The intergovernmental committee will continue to consider nominations to the
list, which emerged from the creation of a UNESCO-backed convention, until
Tuesday.

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