Decision of the Intergovernmental Committee: 10.COM 10.b.24

The Committee

  1. Takes note that Peru has nominated Wititi dance of the Colca Valley (No. 01056) for inscription on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity:

The Wititi dance of the Colca Valley is a traditional folk dance associated with the beginning of adult life. It takes the form of a courtship ritual and is typically performed by young people during religious festivities celebrated throughout the rainy season. It is danced in troupes with rows of male and female couples performing a variety of steps to the beat of a band. Female dancers wear garments finely embroidered with colourful natural motifs and distinctive hats, while male dancers wear overlapping women’s skirts, military shirts, slings and ‘strong hats’. The dance coincides with the beginning of the agricultural production cycle and symbolizes the renewal of nature and society. The dance consolidates social ties and strengthens cultural identity with villages in the Colca Valley competing to produce the best ensembles, thereby continuously renewing the dance while maintaining its traditional character. The Wititi dance of the Colca Valley is learned through direct observation by youth and children in school and at private family gatherings, such as christenings, birthdays and weddings. At the national level, folk dance ensembles perform this dance as part of their repertoires.

  1. Decides that, from the information included in the file, the nomination satisfies the following criteria:

R.1:   The Wititi dance of the Colca Valley depicts courtship, points at gender complementarity, promotes rivalry in an entertaining and artistic way and is performed primarily in the context of local religious celebrations during the rainy season; the transmission, driven by families and promoted by various public institutions, encompasses different forms of learning – from direct observation in various social contexts to rehearsals aimed at public performances and contests;

R.2:   Inscription of the element could enhance awareness of different creative strategies by groups to keep their memory alive, and illustrate how to establish constant links based on common history, festive joy, respect for nature and gender equality among other universal values, thus helping the visibility and dialogical nature of intangible cultural heritage in general;

R.3:   Relying on careful consideration of past and current efforts, the practicing community and a team of researchers identified five safeguarding measures that can help further viability of the element, consisting of systematic promotion, annual seminars that will bring together bearers and researchers, production of a documentary, creation of a digital archive and research on the origins and history of the dance; technical, organizational and financial support is secured through regional and national governmental bodies;

R.4:   The nomination file provides a clear description of how the process of elaborating it evolved over a period of several years in close collaboration with the communities and groups concerned, as well as ample evidence of their free, prior and informed consent to the nomination;

R.5:   An elaborated participatory system of inventorying has been developed by the Directorate of Intangible Heritage of the Ministry of Culture, which is also the body responsible for maintaining the inventory in conformity with Articles 11 and 12 of the Convention; Wititi dance of the Colca Valley was included in the inventory called ‘Declarations of Cultural Heritage of the Nation’.

  1. Inscribes Wititi dance of the Colca Valley on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity;
  2. Congratulates the State Party for preparing a nomination that can serve as a model concerning the organization of the nomination process with the full participation of all parties concerned, resulting in a comprehensive and well-designed nomination file.