13.COM 10.B.2

The Committee

  1. Takes note that Austria, Czechia, Germany, Hungary and Slovakia have nominated Blaudruck/Modrotisk/Kékfestés/Modrotlač, resist block printing and indigo dyeing in Europe (No. 01365) for inscription on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity:

Blaudruck/Modrotisk/Kékfestés/Modrotlač, which translates directly as blueprint or blue-dyeing, refers to the practice of printing a dye-resistant paste onto a cloth before dyeing over it with indigo dye. The resistant paste prevents the dye from penetrating the design, thereby ensuring the applied design remains white or undyed after the dyeing process. To apply the designs onto the cloth, practitioners use hand-crafted blocks that are up to 300 years old, featuring regionally-inspired patterns as well as generic designs or Christian motifs. The representation of local flora and fauna is interrelated with the local culture of the regions. Traditional indigo blue-dyeing does not end with printing, however: the textile chain involves preparing the raw materials and spinning, weaving, finishing, printing and dyeing them. Nowadays, businesses engaged in the practice mainly comprise small, family-owned workshops, run by the second to seventh generation of printers. Each family workshop involves the cooperation of the various family members, who each participate in every step of the production regardless of their gender. Traditional knowledge is still based on (mainly family-owned) journals dating back to the nineteenth century and passed on through observation and hands-on practice. Stakeholders feel a strong emotional bond with their products, and the element encapsulates a sense of pride in long-lasting family traditions.

  1. Decides that, from the information included in the file, the nomination satisfies the following criteria for inscription on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity:

R.1:   Characterized by a strong regional diversity reflected in the patterns and technical skills used, blueprint encompasses a set of techniques that are continuously recreated through experimental workshops, open-source approaches and new technologies. While commonly worn by folk dance groups and folk bands, as well as individuals at festive or social celebrations, blueprint products increasingly influence everyday clothing, fashion and interior design, among other disciplines. It provides its practitioners with a sense of belonging, self-esteem and continuity.

R.2:   As well as stimulating dialogue and cooperation among submitting States and other regions of the world, the inscription of the element on the Representative List could contribute to promoting cultural diversity and human creativity thanks to its inclusive nature. The joint inscription of the element has the potential to prevent it from becoming frozen by encouraging a constant recreation of traditional motifs and skills. It could also highlight the intrinsic link established between living heritage and a diverse range of fields such as history, biology, chemistry, art and design.

R.3:   The file presents a comprehensive set of past, present and planned safeguarding measures focusing on the transmission, protection, documentation and promotion of the element. These include educational programmes to raise awareness among young people, partnerships with technical and vocational schools, exhibitions in museums and the development of networks of practitioners. National and regional institutions, as well as the communities concerned in all five submitting States, contributed to the development of measures through dedicated meetings and workshops at the national and international levels, and will actively participate in their implementation.

R.4:   The communities, associations, cultural institutions and individual practitioners concerned participated in the preparation of the nomination, particularly through workshops, from the inception of the nomination process to the review of the draft file. A wide range of stakeholders provided their free, prior and informed consent in various personalized ways, including through videos, and explicitly consented to the multinational nature of the nomination.

R.5:   The element was included in inventories of intangible cultural heritage in each of the submitting States between 2014 and 2016. These inventories are maintained by the relevant authorities in each submitting State and are regularly updated.

  1. Inscribes Blaudruck/Modrotisk/Kékfestés/Modrotlač, resist block printing and indigo dyeing in Europe on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity;
  2. Commends the States Parties for submitting an excellent file where each submitting State appears to have contributed in a balanced manner and that demonstrates active networking among communities in the preparation of the nomination and the overall safeguarding of the element.

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