Decision of the Intergovernmental Committee: 10.COM 10.b.27

The Committee

  1. Takes note that Slovakia has nominated Bagpipe culture (No. 01075) for inscription on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity:

Bagpipe culture consists of a wide range of expressions and knowledge associated with bagpipes and their use, including music repertoire, style and ornamentation, songs, dances, instrument-making, folk customs and traditions and special verbal expressions. The bagpipe tradition exists throughout Slovakia, with regional differences concerning technical details, tuning, ornaments and know-how, and corresponding songs and dance repertoire. The main bearers and practitioners of the element are bagpipe makers and players, as well as other musicians, singers and dancers performing in groups with bagpipe players. Many of the attributes of bagpipe culture are hallmarks of traditional folk culture in Slovakia with links to the natural environment, such as construction methods (use of goat skin) or the aesthetic forms of instruments (other domains of local folk art), local and individual styles of interpretation of songs and repertoire. Bagpipe culture is transmitted from generation to generation within the family and community and via formal and non-formal education. A community is proud to have a bagpipe player and when a bagpiper attends a community social event, the music generates a sense of identity shared among all members of the community.

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

R.1:   The expressions, knowledge and skills associated with bagpiping and bagpipe culture in Slovakia are transmitted from traditional face-to-face interaction to formal education; the concerned community includes bagpipe players and makers, as well as broader groups of dancers, singers, informal or organized folk ensembles, and other aficionados of bagpiping, who find in it a source of nostalgia, evoking the feeling of common origin and serving as a counterpart to the pressures of globalization;

R.2:   Inscription of the element could contribute to the visibility of a larger group of similar elements, in particular those that are anchored in rare musical instruments, encourage exchange of information and experiences between practising communities on national and international levels, and raise awareness concerning the relations between longstanding traditions, creativity and innovation, thus pointing at constant re-creation as a feature of intangible cultural heritage in general;

R.3:   Elaborated in close collaboration between experts and two key organizations of bagpipers and bagpipe makers, safeguarding measures are carefully designed, concrete and coordinated between all parties involved; they encompass various aspects of safeguarding, including the response to possible unintended results of inscription;

R.4:   The nomination file convincingly demonstrates a broad participation of a wide variety of concerned parties in the nomination process, and their free, prior and informed consent to the nomination;

R.5:   The inclusion of the element in the Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Slovakia was accomplished in 2008; the List is maintained by the Ministry of Culture in conformity with Articles 11 and 12 of the Convention.

  1. Inscribes Bagpipe culture on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.