9.COM 10.18

The Committee

  1. Takes note that Greece has nominated Know-how of cultivating mastic on the island of Chios (No. 00993) for inscription on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity:

Mastic is cultivated on the island of Chios from the aromatic resin mastiha, which is extracted from the shrub pistacia lentiscus. Mastic has long been renowned for its numerous properties and its culture is a family occupation that requires laborious care throughout the year by men and women of all ages who participate on equal terms in the various stages. Men take care of the natural fertilization and pruning of the shrubs in winter, while from mid-June, women sweep, level and clean the ground around the trunk, so that the mastic can easily be recovered. From July, an incision is made in the skin of the bark and main branches with an iron tool. Once the mastic has solidified, women select the larger ‘tears’ first, wash them and place them in wooden boxes in a cool place. Older members of the community are responsible for transmitting the techniques for incision and harvesting the mastiha to younger generations. The culture of mastic represents a comprehensive social event, around which networks of alliances and mutual help have been established. The communal practices are also an occasion for perpetuating collective memory through the narration of old tales and stories.

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

R.1:   The knowledge associated with the cultivation and collection of mastic is passed down from generation to generation; it constitutes an important component of rural life for the inhabitants of Chios facilitating social cohesion and solidarity among them;

R.2:   Inscription of the element on the Representative List could contribute to the visibility of intangible cultural heritage related to ecological knowledge concerning the use of natural resources and to its importance for sustainable development;

R.3:   Various safeguarding measures are elaborated covering education, research and investigation for touristic development, aiming at economic sustainability of the know-how of cultivating mastic through the involvement of the bearers and the commitment of both governmental institutions and the private sector;

R.4:   The nomination was prepared with the participation of representative associations as well as practitioners of mastic cultivation who gave their free, prior and informed consent;

R.5:   With the participation of the community concerned, the element was included in the national inventory of intangible cultural heritage maintained by the Modern Cultural Heritage Department of the Ministry of Education, Religious Affairs, Culture and Sport.

  1. Inscribes Know-how of cultivating mastic on the island of Chios on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

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