9.COM 10.7

The Committee

  1. Takes note that Bosnia and Herzegovina has nominated Zmijanje embroidery (No. 00990) for inscription on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity:

Zmijanje embroidery is a specific technique practised by the women of Zmijanje villages in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Traditionally, Zmijanje embroidery is used to decorate female costumes and household items, including wedding dresses, scarves, garments and bed linen. The main characteristic is the use of a deep blue thread, handmade with vegetable dyes, to embroider improvised geometrical shapes. The richness and variations of the embroidered designs determine the social status of the village women. Embroidery is usually performed among groups of women, who engage in needlework while singing and chatting. Each embroiderer adapts and reinvents the required knowledge and skills, as part of the process of transmission. The knowledge is conveyed orally and through practical work, mostly in formal educational environments. Students learn by watching experienced embroiderers combine pre-determined elements into numerous variations, and through regular and continuous practice. Zmijanje embroidery incorporates respect for diversity, creativity and non-verbal communication. It also has a sentimental and emotional value particularly for displaced populations, who use embroidered garments as an expression of national and local identity and pride. Embroidery ties together many elements of cultural heritage, such as music, rituals, oral traditions, handicrafts and symbolic expressions.

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

R.1:   Carrying strong symbolic meanings and transmitted from generation to generation, even during turbulent historical circumstances, Zmijanje embroidery promotes creativity, social unity and diversity in its region and beyond;

R.2:   Its inscription on the Representative List could enhance the visibility of intangible cultural heritage and promote social unity, integration and diversity within Bosnia and Herzegovina and beyond;

R.3:   The proposed safeguarding measures are broad, realistic and well-designed, including training, education, documentation, raising awareness, research and international cooperation; a broad participation is foreseen and the role of each stakeholder is clearly demonstrated together with the commitment of the State Party; integration of intangible cultural heritage within the formal education curriculum is particularly noteworthy;

R.4:   The communities were involved in every stage of the nomination, mainly through non-governmental organizations, and provided their free, prior and informed consent;

R.5:   The element was included in 2011 in the inventory of the Official List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of the Republic of Srpska, maintained and regularly updated by the Ministry of Civil Affairs.

  1. Inscribes Zmijanje embroidery on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity;
  2. Recalls the importance of using vocabulary appropriate to the spirit of the Convention and avoiding expressions such as ‘authentic’ and ‘original’.

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