11.COM 10.B.20

The Committee

  1. Takes note that Kazakhstan has nominated Kuresi in Kazakhstan (No. 01085) for inscription on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity:

Kuresi is a type of wrestling in Kazakhstan that requires players to battle it out on foot, the objective being to get the opponent’s shoulders on the ground. It is a traditional practice where trainers would coach young boys who would then take part in local contests. These days, kuresi is a national sport in Kazakhstan practised by men and women, up to professional level. International competitions also take place, such as the annual tournament the Kazakhstan Barysy, broadcast in more than 100 countries. Transmission of kuresi in Kazakhstan occurs in sports clubs, which may also be affiliated to schools, as well as via master classes run by experienced kuresi wrestlers. The minimum age of learners can be as young as 10 and no restrictions apply concerning the background of participants. The sport of kuresi also has a place in traditional folklore in Kazakhstan. The wrestlers, known as Baluans, have been regarded as strong and courageous and depicted as such in epics, poetry and literature. The practice of kuresi teaches younger generations in Kazakhstan to respect their history and culture, and aim to be like the heroic Baluans. It also helps to build tolerance, goodwill and solidarity amongst communities.

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

R.1:   The element has been widely practised by bearers from generation to generation in every village and is still actively practised nowadays and is an integral part of Kazakhstani national identity; the transmission, driven by communities and promoted by various public institutions, encompasses different forms of learning – from traditional wrestling, organized during festive celebrations, to sports sections and master classes;

R.2:   Inscription of the element on the Representative List would enhance public recognition of the element at local and national levels, promote respect for cultural diversity and human creativity and encourage dialogue among different ethnic communities of ethnically diverse Kazakhstan; the nomination demonstrates the potential contribution of the inscription to awareness of the significance of traditional sport in general, as well as to the visibility of the intangible cultural heritage of the nomadic civilisations in the world;

R.3:   Past and current efforts to safeguard the element are described and future measures aimed at documentation, raising awareness and transmission will be supported by the Kazakh Kuresi Federation, “Kazakhstan Barysy” Fund and the commitment of the State Party;

R.4:   The nomination was initiated and carried out in close collaboration with a number of bearers and practitioners of the element, such as individual Baluans, trainers and referees representing different regions of Kazakhstan and a working group consisting of representatives of the Agency of Sports and Physical Culture and association of Baluans; all concerned parties provided their free, prior and informed consent to the nomination;

R.5:   The element was included in the National Register of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Kazakhstan in 2013, with the participation of communities, groups and individuals concerned. The submitting State indicates that the register is maintained and is being regularly updated by the Ministry concerned.

  1. Inscribes Kuresi in Kazakhstan on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity;
  2. Thanks the delegation of Kazakhstan for the clarifications provided to the Committee on the information included in the file concerning criteria R.1, R.2, R.3 and R.4.

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