14.COM 10.B.39

The Committee,

  1. Takes note that Turkmenistan has nominated Traditional turkmen carpet making art in Turkmenistan (No. 01486) for inscription on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity:

Traditional turkmen carpet making art in Turkmenistan relates to the production of traditional Turkmen carpets and carpet products: hand-woven woolen textile products decorated with ornamental art. The carpets feature a dense texture ornamented with characteristic coloured patterns pertaining to one of the five main Turkmen tribes. They are characterized by patterns forming clear linear geometric arrangements. The context in which the carpet weaver lives – including local flora, fauna and the environment – is reflected in the combination of threads, pictures and colours creating the carpet designs. Turkmen carpets are created on horizontal or vertical looms, mainly using different coloured wool threads. The carpets serve both as floor coverings and wall decorations, and special carpets are also woven for the birth of a child, wedding ceremonies, and prayer and mourning rituals. The carpet-making art is broadly integrated into the social and cultural life of Turkmen people and is considered as a sign of cultural identity and unity. Related skills and knowledge are transmitted within the family, and the viability of the tradition has been continuously ensured by community members. The annual celebration of Carpet Day plays a key role in the transmission of the element by gathering various communities, strengthening social ties and cooperation.

  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 traditional turkmen carpet making art is practised all over Turkmenistan and the related carpet products are spread across the country, providing a sense of social identity and continuity, bringing communities together and allowing them to achieve a sense of identification around the element. The practice and related products are integrated into the social and cultural lives of the Turkmen people, contributing to their economic life. Apart from utilitarian functions, carpet making in Turkmenistan plays important roles in family and community rituals, social practices and festive events. The element is practised by people from several types of professions, whose roles in the process and in the transmission of the element are clearly defined.

R.2:   The inscription of the traditional turkmen carpet making art in Turkmenistan would encourage dialogue and provide opportunities to strengthen the network of carpet makers with other craftspersons. The inscription would also stimulate interest in the promotion of similar domains of handicrafts in the country and allow experiences, knowledge and skills to be shared among communities from across the world, encouraging dialogue at the international level.

R.3:   Given the importance of the element for Turkmen people, many safeguarding measures have already been undertaken by the communities and the State Party. Following this path, the proposed safeguarding measures are coherently organized around seven main areas: transmission, research and documentation, education, publications, promotion and awareness raising, protection and preservation, and national capacity building. Even if they are mostly organized at the institutional level, carpet makers and other practitioners will play a primary role in their implementation.

R.4:   The art of traditional turkmen carpet making is spread across the Turkmenistan territory and practised by many people. Therefore, the State Party undertook a process to select representative craftspersons, who have supported the nomination since it began in 2015. This process has included many meetings and workshops organized with a view to engaging in discussions with the communities of the five provinces of the country.

R.5:   Traditional turkmen carpet making art was inscribed on the National Inventory of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Turkmenistan in 2013 and is updated annually with information gathered during field expeditions. The communities concerned have been involved in all stages of the inventorying through interviews, narratives, presentations, demonstrations of the related skills, traditions and knowledge collected and processed through depictions, photographs and audio and audiovisual recordings.

  1. Decides to inscribe Traditional turkmen carpet making art in Turkmenistan on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity;
  2. Invites the State Party to explore measures directed at the socio-economic empowerment of women given their key role in the safeguarding of the element.

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