10.COM 10.B.35

The Committee

  1. Takes note that the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela has nominated Traditional knowledge and technologies relating to the growing and processing of the curagua (No. 01094) for inscription on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity:

The traditional knowledge and technologies related to the growing and processing of curagua encompass a complex set of practices concerning the cultivation of the plant and the extraction of white fibres, which are characterized by their strength, durability and softness. The fibres are woven into thread and used to produce a range of artisanal goods, such as the hammock – a traditional emblem of the region. Traditionally, men extract and process the curagua fibre because of the strength required, while women weave and manufacture the artisanal products. The practice plays a significant role in moulding the identity of the communities found in the municipality of Aguasay. It works as a mechanism of social cohesion that overcomes gender, ethnic and sociocultural barriers. It promotes diverse forms of cooperation within and between communities and family structures, wherein women take on an important role in creative labour and family income. The knowledge and technologies are passed on from one generation to the next, mainly through oral tradition, observation and imitation among family members.

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

R.1:   Organized according to their roles in the production chain, bearers of the element usually belong to a family unit and transmission relies on oral tradition, observation and imitation passed from one generation to the next among family members; the element promotes cohesion within the family and community, intergenerational cooperation and gender complementarity, as well as sustainable use of natural resources;

R.2:   Due to the element’s creative nature and transformative capacity, the importance of collective work and solidarity, cooperation and respect established along gender, ethnic and generational lines, and contributions to sustainable socio-economic development, its inscription could contribute to the visibility of the intangible cultural heritage in general and raise awareness of the significance of the latter;

R.3:   As a result of a collective deliberation process, tradition bearing communities have designed strategies to keep strengthening the element and avoid any potential negative consequence that could arise from inscription on the Representative List; the support of local and national authorities is also demonstrated;

R.4:   Starting in 2011, the process of creating a nomination came to fruition through a series of meetings and workshops, collective deliberations and group work sessions in which the opinions of various individuals, groups and community organizations were systematically registered and integrated into the nomination file; the final activities included joint review and approval of the file and appended documentation, as well as drawing up of a document wherein 33 people who work with curagua as farmers and weavers gave their free, prior and informed consent to the nomination;

R.5:   The element was included in the National Inventory in 2014, as well as in the database for the register of cultural heritage; the inscription file demonstrates a close collaboration between communities concerned and the institutions responsible for maintaining the inventory.

  1. Inscribes Traditional knowledge and technologies relating to the growing and processing of the curagua on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity;
  2. Congratulates the State Party for preparing a nomination that can serve as a model, especially as regards community participation throughout the nomination process, bottom-up design of safeguarding measures and contribution to ensuring visibility, awareness and encouraging dialogue.

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