14.COM 10.B.29

The Committee,

  1. Takes note that Peru has nominated ‘Hatajo de Negritos’ and ‘Hatajo de Pallitas’ from the Peruvian south-central coastline (No. 01309) for inscription on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity:

‘Hatajo de Negritos’ and the ‘Hatajo de Pallitas’ from the Peruvian south-central coastline are two complementary expressions featuring music and singing as part of Christmas celebrations, hailing from the central department of Ica in Peru. The expressions are biblical representations of the story of the visit of a group of shepherds to the new-born baby Jesus and the arrival of the Wise Men. Both expressions combine pre-Hispanic Andean values with the European Catholicism and rhythmical inheritance of African descendants arriving in the Americas in colonial times. This complexity has allowed both expressions to become representations of the mestizo and afro-descendant identity of the region. The dance of the ‘negritos’ is mostly performed by men to the tune of a long fiddle, along with singing, shoe-tapping dance and bells. The dance of ‘pallitas’ is performed by women to the sound of the guitar or fiddle, accompanied by a ‘zapateo’ and singing. Both dances – regarded as symbols of religious devotion and spiritual contemplation – are performed by groups of up to fifty people in town squares and churches in December and January, as well as in family homes. Both expressions are taught to the younger generation from early childhood, with elders encouraging children to learn a large variety of Christmas carols, ‘zapateo’ rhythms and dance sequences as a sign of devotion.

  1. Considers 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:   The ‘Hatajo de Negritos’ and the ‘Hatajo de Pallitas’ are important representations of the mestizo and afro-descendant identity of the region. They are based on social structures in the family and community. Related knowledge, expressions and skills are passed down from generation to generation. This makes the practice an important marker of cultural identification involving African cultural meanings and the colonial tradition.

R.2:   The inscription of ‘Hatajo de Negritos’ and ‘Hatajo de Pallitas’ from the Peruvian south-central coastline would raise the visibility of the element at the local and national levels. It would also raise awareness of the key role played by the wealth of intangible cultural heritage of the African descendant groups of Latin America. Furthermore, it would promote dialogue between different communities and groups located within the territory with a view to enhancing mutual respect and exchanging shared good practices.

R.3:   The viability of the element is ensured by certain families and members of the communities who organize the dance groups and provide them with areas for rehearsals in the months before Christmas. The State Party identified the factors that threatened the viability of the element and drafted a safeguarding plan with the aim of preventing and resolving these threats. The measures are well-organized around six clear objectives and were defined with the wide participation of the community.

R.4:   During the nomination process, many associations and municipalities actively participated in drafting the file and provided their free, prior and informed consent. Above all, they are at the core of the proposed safeguarding measures and will be the main actors involved in their implementation.

R.5:   The ‘Hatajo de Negritos’ and ‘Hatajo de Pallitas’ from the Peruvian south-central coastline was included in the Declarations of Cultural Heritage of the Nation in 2013. It is updated every five years and the Afro-Peruvian National Museum put forward the request for the inscription. The Directorate of Intangible Heritage in the Ministry of Culture is the body responsible for maintaining and updating the inventory, with the active participation of the communities.

  1. Decides to inscribe ‘Hatajo de Negritos’ and ‘Hatajo de Pallitas’ from the Peruvian south-central coastline on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity;
  2. Commends the State Party for submitting an exemplary nomination, in particular in relation to the safeguarding measures.

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