10.COM 10.B.30

The Committee

  1. Takes note that Turkmenistan has nominated Epic art of Gorogly (No. 01028) for inscription on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity:

The epic art of Gorogly is an oral performing tradition describing the achievements of the legendary hero Gorogly and his forty cavalrymen. The epic incorporates narration, singing, composition, prose, poetry and vocal improvisation, and also functions as an oral encyclopaedia of traditional customs and knowledge (including stock breeding, traditional healing, etc.). Its transmission plays an important role in the upbringing of children by helping them to better understand their cultural identity. The tradition nurtures character, creative capacity and artistic skills, and provides bearer communities with a strong sense of social and cultural identity. The epic reflects the aspirations of the Turkmen people for a happy life, freedom and justice, and promotes values such as bravery, honesty, friendship, tolerance and fairness. Its bearers and practitioners are individual male and female epic performers in Turkmenistan who specialize in the Gorogly epic. The epic is traditionally performed seated to the accompaniment of stringed musical instruments, such as the dutar or gyjak. Bearers and practitioners of the Gorogly epic art take an active part in all national celebrations, cultural festivals and social gatherings, as well as annual competitions between Gorogly epic performers. Practice of the epic art is considered a vocation with masters combining informal teaching of pupils with transmission of knowledge and skills during public performances.

  1. Decides that, from the information included in the file, the nomination satisfies the following criteria:

R.1:   The epic art of Gorogly functions today as an important symbol integrated into various segments of society, from the community of its bearers to the formal educational system where epics play a role in the upbringing of new generations, leading national institutions and the media; both men and women from various social strata acquire their knowledge and skills through a master-pupil relationship;

R.2:   Inscription of the element could contribute to intercultural dialogue and exchange of experiences on a regional and international level, increase the awareness of oral cultural heritage in general and in the State Party in particular, and foster respect for cultural diversity and human creativity while calling attention to a specific combination of prose, poetry and performance contained in the element;

R.3:   Taking past and current initiatives as a starting point, the proposed safeguarding measures encompass a set of concrete and extensive activities aiming at ensuring the viability of the element in contemporary society, with priority given to making progress in legislation while stressing awareness-raising and training activities involving both youth and women, as well as knowledge transfer towards the communities and the public; they were elaborated involving a wide range of actors, including bearers and practitioners of the element;

R.4:   The nomination was prepared in collaboration with a wide variety of concerned parties, including a number of recognized bearers of the element and a key scholarly institution; the letters of free, prior and informed consent corroborate such a participatory, community-inclusive process of nomination;

R.5:   With a broad participation of all parties concerned, the element was included in 2013 in the National Inventory of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, which is regularly updated by the Ministry of Culture.

  1. Inscribes Epic art of Gorogly on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity;
  2. Commends the State Party for its first nomination;
  3. Suggests that the State Party provide the translation of lyrics while promoting the element on an international scale in order to foster mutual understanding beyond national and language boundaries;
  4. Invites the State Party to avoid undue emphasis on the element’s national character in view of promoting intercultural dialogue and mutual respect.

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